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Also found in: Thesaurus.


a. A spoken or written reply, as to a question.
b. A correct reply.
a. A solution, as to a problem.
b. A correct solution.
3. An act in response or retaliation: Our only possible answer was to sue.
4. Something markedly similar to another of the same class: cable TV's answer to the commercial networks' sportscasts.
5. Law A defendant's response to the allegations against him or her.
v. an·swered, an·swer·ing, an·swers
1. To speak or write as a return, as to a question.
2. To act in response: Their team scored, but our team answered with a quick goal.
3. To be liable or accountable: You must answer for your actions to your supervisor.
4. To serve the purpose; suffice: "Often I do use three words where one would answer" (Mark Twain).
5. To correspond; match: I found a dog answering to that description.
a. To speak or write in response to: answer a question.
b. To say or write in reply: He answered that he was unable to join us.
c. To argue in defense of oneself against (an accusation or charge).
2. To act in response to: The police answered the call for help. The soldiers answered the attack.
3. To be sufficient for (a need, for instance); fulfill: "My fortune has answered my desires" (Izaak Walton).
4. To conform or correspond to: The suspect answers the description given by the police.

[Middle English answere, from Old English andswaru; see swer- in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: answer, respond, reply, retort1
These verbs relate to action taken in return to a stimulus. Answer, respond, and reply, the most general, all mean to speak, write, or act in response: Please answer my question. Did you expect the president to respond personally to your letter? The opposing team scored three runs; the home team replied with two of their own. Respond also denotes a reaction, either voluntary (A bystander responded to the victim's need for help) or involuntary (She responded in spite of herself to the antics of the puppy). To retort is to answer verbally in a quick, caustic, or witty manner: She won the debate by retorting sharply to her opponent's questions. See Also Synonyms at satisfy.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.answering - replyinganswering - replying; "an answering glance"; "an answering smile"
responsive - readily reacting or replying to people or events or stimuli; showing emotion; "children are often the quickest and most responsive members of the audience"


[ˈɑːnsərɪŋ] CPD answering machine Ncontestador m (automático)
answering service N (live) → servicio m telefónico de contestación; (with answerphone) → servicio m de contestador automático
References in periodicals archive ?
com)-- Elizabeth Cardin, Marketing Director of Specialty Answering Service announced her company will be launching a series of YouTube commercials this summer.
As the cameras started to roll in the Specialty Answering Service offices, everyone got in on the fun.
While Specialty Answering Service is often ahead of the curve on internet marketing, they have lagged behind in the internet marketing.