1 noun
1 REPLY (C, U) something you say when you reply to a question that someone has asked you: I asked Janine what she thought, but I'm still waiting for her answer. | give (sb) an answer: You don't have to give them an answer straight away. | the answer is yes/no!: spoken: If it's money you're after again, the answer is no! | in answer to: In answer to your question, I think you can go.
2 TEST/COMPETITION ETC (C) something that you writes or say in reply to a question in a test, exercise, competition etc: What was the answer to question 4?
3 INVITATION/LETTER ETC (C) a written reply to a letter, invitation, advertisement etc: Did you ever get an answer to your letter?
4 PROBLEM (C) a way of dealing with a problem: There are no easy answers to today's environmental problems. | be the answer to sb's problems/worries etc: If he could get a job it'd be the answer to all his worries.
5 not get an answer to not get a reply when you telephone someone or call at their house: I tried calling him all day but couldn't get an answer.
6 sb's answer to someone or something that is considered to be just as good as a more famous person or thing: Britain's answer to the Eiffel Tower
2 verb
a) (I, T) to say something to someone as a reply when they have asked you a question, made a suggestion etc: I had to answer lots of questions about my childhood. | answer (that): When questioned, Hughes answered that he knew nothing about the robbery. | answer sb: How much was it? Come on, answer me. | Julie stared at him for a long time before answering.
b) (T) to deal with someone's question in a satisfactory way: You still haven't answered my question.
2 answer criticism/charges/accusations etc to explain why you did something when people are criticizing you: How do you answer the criticism that your government has done nothing to help the homeless?
3 TEST (I, T) to write or say the answer to a question in a test, exercise, competition etc: Answer as many questions as possible in the time provided.
4 answer the phone/door/a call to pick up the telephone when it rings or go to the door when someone calls
5 LETTER (T) to send a reply to a letter, advertisement etc: Simon got the job by answering an advertisement in the newspaper.
6 DO STH AS A REACTION (I, T) to do something as a reaction to criticism or attack: The US answered by bombing North Vietnam.
7 DEAL WITH A PROBLEM (T) to be a way of dealing with or solving a problem: "You can borrow my car if you like." "Well, that answers one problem."
8 answer a description if someone answers a description, they match that description: A man answering the police's description was seen entering the building.
9 answer a need to provide something that is needed
USAGE NOTE: ANSWER WORD CHOICE: answer, reply, respond,give an answer, get back to Answer is the usual verb you use to talk about answering questions. Reply is used especially when you mention the actual words that were said: I was so nervous I couldn't reply/answer. | "Not in the least", he replied. Respond is more formal and less common and often suggests that a criticism is being replied to: So far, the travel agent hasn't responded to our complaint. If you give someone a piece of information they have asked for, such as a decision you have made, you give them an answer: If we offer you the job, when could you give us an answer? If you think you can answer someone later but not at once, you say you will get back to them: Sorry, I'll need to think about that and get back to you. GRAMMAR You answer (v) a question, advertisement etc., not to/at it. Normally you answer a person too. If you answer to someone, they are the person directly responsible for you in an organization, at work etc, and you have to explain to them if anything goes wrong or if you are not doing something properly. You give the answer (n) to a question or criticism, not of it. You get an answer (n) from someone, not of them. answer back phrasal verb (I, T) to reply in a rude way to someone that you are supposed to obey: answer sb back: Don't answer me back young man! answer for sth phrasal verb (T)
1 to explain to people in authority why you did something wrong or why something happened, and be punished if necessary: The teachers must answer for their students' disgusting behaviour on the school trip.
2 have a lot to answer for informal to be responsible for causing a lot of trouble: That young man's got an awful lot to answer for.
3 I can answer for him/her etc spoken used to say that someone will definitely do something: I'm sure John will help us - I can't really answer for the others.
answer to sb/sth phrasal verb (T)
1 to give an explanation to someone, especially about something that you have done wrong: Phipps answers to me and me alone.
2 answer to the name of
a) if a pet answers to a particular name, it comes when you call that name: Their dog answers to the name of Fido.
b) to be called

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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