answer


answer
answer n reply, response, rejoinder, retort (see under ANSWER vb 1)
Analogous words: defense, vindication, justification (see corresponding verbs at MAINTAIN): refutation, rebuttal (see corresponding verbs at DISPROVE)
Contrasted words: question, query, inquiry, interrogation (see corresponding verbs at ASK): summoning or summons, call (see corresponding verbs at SUMMON)
answer vb
1 Answer, respond, reply, rejoin, retort (and their corresponding nouns answer, response, reply, rejoinder, retort) mean to say or write or sometimes to do something (or something that is said, written, or done) in return (as to a question, a call, a request, or a charge).
One answers or makes an answer to a question, call, or appeal, or to the person or thing questioning, calling, or appealing, when one gives the attention or service demanded by one’s situation or office or required by courtesy
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answer a query

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answer the telephone

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answer the doorbell

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In specific collocations the words carry more definite implications; thus, in answering an accusation one gives a detailed and sometimes, by suggestion, a successful defense; in having the answers to all the problems one has their correct solutions
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he could talk; he could assert; produce opinions and information, but he couldn’t meet or answer arguments— Rose Macaulay

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One responds or makes a response to a person who endeavors to elicit an answer or to a thing which serves as a stimulus when one reacts, often spontaneously and usually without resistance, to the influence
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respond immediately to an appeal for help

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an unsatisfactory response to a call for recruits

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when she smiled, even strangers responded

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is it true that antiquated legal ideas prevent government from responding effectively to the demands which modern society makes upon it?— Frankfurter

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a trustful affectionate disposition . . . creates the response which it expects— Russell/c]

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Respond and response are used in preference to answer and reply when they refer to the set answers to supplications (as in a litany) or to questions (as in a catechism)
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he answered by a deep, gravely accented: “Thanks, I will, ” as though it were a response in church— Conrad

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One replies or makes a reply (as to a question, charge, argument, or salute or to a questioner or an accuser) when one answers so as to cover the same ground as the question or charge; thus, one may answer a letter by merely acknowledging its receipt, but one replies to it only when one answers all its questions or touches on all points requiring attention; an answer to a salute is uncertain in its nature if no details are given; a reply to a salute usually indicates that the salute has been returned in the same form or in kind and spirit. Often reply is equivalent to answer back (as by echoing, protesting, or when the question is rhetorical agreeing)
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the nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky; the walls, the woods, and long canals replyPope

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theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die— Tennyson

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who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a replyShak.

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One rejoins or makes a rejoinder when one answers a reply
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the assembly took the governor’s reply . . . into consideration, and prepared a suitable rejoinderFranklin

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The terms are often used to indicate an answer to an unspoken question or to an objection
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“He can’t sleep comfortably on that ship, ” she said. “In his present state, ” rejoined Andrew, “he might not sleep comfortably anywhere”— Douglas

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to an abstract objection an abstract rejoinder suffices— James

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One retorts or makes a retort to an explicit or implicit charge, criticism, or attack when one responds with an answer that is in effect a retaliation, or a counter charge, criticism, or attack
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it amused me . . . to read the interview and learn that I had . . . uttered a number of trenchant sayings upon female novelists. But the amusement changed to dismay when the ladies began to retortQuiller-Couch

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Analogous words: *acknowledge, recognize: *disprove, refute, rebut:
defend, justify, vindicate, *maintain
Contrasted words: question, *ask, interrogate, query, inquire, quiz: *summon, call
2 meet, *satisfy, fulfill

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • answer — an·swer 1 n 1: the defendant s written response to the plaintiff s complaint in a civil suit in which he or she may deny any of plaintiff s allegations, offer any defenses, and make any counterclaims against the plaintiff, cross claims against… …   Law dictionary

  • answer to — 1. To give an indication of accepting as one s name 2. To have as one s name (informal) 3. To be accountable to • • • Main Entry: ↑answer * * * answer to (the name of) often humorous be called …   Useful english dictionary

  • Answer — An swer ([a^]n s[ e]r), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Answered} ([a^]n s[ e]rd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Answering}.] [OE. andswerien, AS. andswerian, andswarian, to answer, fr. andswaru, n., answer. See {Answer}, n.] 1. To speak in defense against; to reply to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • answer — [an′sər, än′sər] n. [ME andsware < OE andswaru < and , against + swerian, SWEAR] 1. something said or written in return to a question, argument, letter, etc. 2. any act in response or retaliation [his answer was a well aimed blow] 3. one… …   English World dictionary

  • Answer — An swer, v. i. 1. To speak or write by way of return (originally, to a charge), or in reply; to make response. [1913 Webster] There was no voice, nor any that answered. 1 Kings xviii. 26. [1913 Webster] 2. To make a satisfactory response or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Answer — An swer, n. [OE. andsware, AS. andswaru; and against + swerian to swear. [root]177, 196. See {Anti }, and {Swear}, and cf. 1st {un }.] 1. A reply to a charge; a defense. [1913 Webster] At my first answer no man stood with me. 2 Tim. iv. 16. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Answer Me — is a popular song, originally written (with German lyrics, under the title Mutterlein ) by Gerhard Winkler and Fred Rauch. The English lyrics were written by Carl Sigman in 1952. After the song was recorded by David Whitfield and Frankie Laine in …   Wikipedia

  • Answer —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir The Answer.  Answer est un film américain indépendant réalisé par Spike Lee en 1980. Fiche technique Réalisation : Spike Lee Pays  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • answer to — a person or thing regarded as the equivalent to a better known one from another place: → answer answer to be responsible or report to. → answer …   English new terms dictionary

  • answer — [n] reply; reaction acknowledgment, antiphon, backcap*, back talk, band aid*, close, comeback, comment, cooler*, counterclaim, crack, defense, disclosure, echo, elucidation, explanation, feedback, guff*, interpretation, justification, key, lip*,… …   New thesaurus


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