Definition of answer noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɑːnsə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈænsər//
    Exams and assessment
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  1. 1  something that you say, write or do to react to a question or situation I rang the bell, but there was no answer. a question and answer session answer to something I can't easily give an answer to your question. Have you had an answer to your letter? As if in answer to our prayers, she offered to lend us £10 000. She had no answer to the accusations. Which Word?answer / replyVerbs Answer and reply are the most common verbs used for speaking or writing as a reaction to a question, letter, etc. Note that you answer a person, question or letter, not answer to them, but you reply to somebody or something:I’m writing to answer your questions I’m writing to reply to your questions. I’m writing to answer to your questions. Answer can be used with or without an object:I haven’t answered her email yet. I knocked on the door but nobody answered. Reply is often used with the actual words spoken:‘I won’t let you down,’ he replied. Respond is less common and more formal:The directors were unwilling to respond to questions. You can only answer a door or a phone. see also rejoin2, retort, get back to somebodyNouns Note the phrases in answer to and in reply to:I’m writing in answer to your letter. see also response, rejoinder, retort
  2. 2  something that you write or say in reply to a question in a test, an exam, an exercise, etc.; the correct reply to a question in a test, etc. Write your answers on the sheet provided. Do you know the answer (= the right one) to question 12? The answers are at the back of the book. The sender of the first correct answer to be drawn will receive £100. See related entries: Exams and assessment
  3. 3  a solution to a problem There is no easy answer. This could be the answer to all our problems. The obvious answer would be to cancel the party.
  4. 4a person or thing from one place that may be thought to be as good as a famous person or thing from another place The new theme park will be Britain's answer to Disneyland. More Like This Silent letters gnarled, gnash, gnat, gnaw, gnome haute cuisine, heir, (NAmE herb), honour, hors d’oeuvre, hour knack, knee, kneel, knife, knight, knit, knob, knock, knot, know, knuckle psalm, psephology, psychic, ptarmigan, pterodactyl, psychology wrangle, wrap, wreath, wreck, wrench, wrestle, wriggle, wring, write, wrong bomb, climb, crumb, doubt, lamb, limb ascent, fascinate, muscle, scene, scissors height, right, sleigh, weight align, campaign, design, foreign, malign, reign, unfeigned balmy, calm, calf, half, yolk autumn, column, condemn, damn, hymn, solemn bristle, fasten, listen, mortgage, soften, thistle, wrestle biscuit, build, circuit, disguise, guilty, league, rogue, vague yacht answer, sword, twoSee worksheet.
  5. Word OriginOld English andswaru (noun), andswarian (verb), of Germanic origin; from a base shared by swear.Extra examples Did you ever get an answer to your letter? Do you know the answer to the question? He left without waiting to hear her answer. He was clearly expecting a different answer. He’s so arrogant, he thinks he knows all the answers. I cannot give you a definite answer just yet. I complained to the water company and received a very dusty answer. I expect a straight answer to a straight question. I struggled to formulate an answer. I think you can guess the answer—they won’t lend us the money. I want some answers before I agree to anything. If you really want to save time, this machine will provide the answer. In answer to your enquiries, I can only say that we did not find her work of a satisfactory standard. It’s not worth guessing the answer, as you may lose marks. Please give her your answer, so she can make the necessary arrangements. Please print the answers to questions 1 and 2. She pounded on the door, but no answer came. She repeated her question, but he offered no answer. The answer came in a postcard she sent from Devon. The answer came to him in a flash. The answer lies in a combination of factors. The question deserves a proper answer. The short answer to your query is that he has acted completely illegally. The students are allowed to use textbooks to find the right answer. There are no easy, pat answers. There is no easy answer to the problem. This part of the exam requires a written answer. We are aware of this problem, but we do not have the answer. We can provide answers to any questions you may have about the system. We have arrived at an answer which we hope will satisfy everyone. her answer to his question the short-answer section of the test As if in answer to our prayers, she offered to lend us the money. I can’t easily give an answer to your question. In answer to your question—yes, I have seen him before.Idioms
    have/know all the answers
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    (informal, often disapproving) to be confident that you know something, especially when you actually do not He thinks he knows all the answers.
    not take no for an answer
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    to refuse to accept that somebody does not want something, will not do something, etc. You're coming and I won't take no for an answer!
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: answer