From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishansweran‧swer1 /ˈɑːnsə $ ˈænsər/ ●●● S1 W1 noun 1 replyREPLY [countable, uncountable]ANSWER/REPLY something you say when you reply to a question that someone has asked you SYN response You don’t have to give them an answer now. Every time I ask him about it, I get a different answer.answer to These are important questions, and we want answers to them. She’s still waiting for an answer from the school. The honest answer was that I didn’t know. He was never able to get a straight answer about why it happened. It’s impossible for me to give you a definite answer at this time. The short answer is that it can’t be done. In answer to your question, yes, you can go. If it’s money you want, the answer is no!2 test/competition etc [countable]ANSWER/RESULTTEST/COMPETITION ETC something that you write or say in reply to a question in a test or competitionanswer to What was the answer to question 4?the right/wrong/correct/incorrect answer Score two points for each correct answer.3 invitation/letter etc [countable]ANSWER/REPLYINVITATION/LETTER ETC a written reply to a letter, invitation, advertisement etcanswer to Did you ever get an answer to your letter?4 problemDEAL WITHPROBLEM [countable] a way of dealing with a problem SYN solutionsimple/easy/obvious answer There is no simple answer.answer to The police do not have an answer to rising crime. Some people think cars should be banned from the city, but I don’t think that’s the answer.be the answer to somebody’s problems/worries etc If he could get a job, it’d be the answer to all his worries.5 on the phone [singular, uncountable usually in negative]TCT if you get an answer when you call someone on the phone, they pick up the phone and talk to you I tried calling him all day but couldn’t get an answer. 6 at the door [singular, uncountable usually in negative] if you get an answer when you knock on a door, someone opens it and talks to you I tried knocking on her door, but there was no answer.7 → have/know all the answers8 → somebody’s answer to somethingCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: something you say when you reply to a question that someone has asked youadjectivesan honest/straight answerThe honest answer is that I don’t know.a definite answer (=that says yes or no definitely)Can you give me a definite answer tomorrow?a satisfactory answerI didn’t get a satisfactory answer from the company.verbsgive somebody an answerI’ll give you an answer tomorrow.get/receive an answerShe wrote to him but she never got an answer.wait for an answerKate was looking at me, waiting for an answer.think of an answerShe couldn’t think of a suitable answer to his question.phrasesthe short answer is ... (=used when giving a simple, honest, or direct answer to a difficult question)‘How does homeopathy work?’ ‘The short answer to this question is that we do not know how homeopathic remedies work.’ COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: something that you write or say in reply to a question in a test or competitionadjectivesthe right/wrong answerDo you know the right answer to this question?the correct/incorrect answerYou get 5 points for each correct answer.verbsknow the answerPut up your hand if you know the answer.guess the answerIf you don’t know the answer, try guessing it.write the answerDo we write the answers in the exercise book, Sir? COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 3: a written reply to a letter, invitation, advertisement etcadjectivesthe simple/easy answerThere are a lot of problems and no simple answers.the obvious answerThe obvious answer is to raise taxes, but that would be unpopular.the perfect answerI think I have the perfect answer to the problem.the complete answerA loan, however, is not the complete answer to the company’s problems.the long-term answerHe believes hydrogen is the long-term answer to our growing energy crisis.a short-term answerEmploying overseas nurses is only a short-term answer to the shortage. verbshave an answerDoctors are supposed to have all the answers.find an answerThe aim is to find a long-term answer to poverty.come up with an answer (=find a way of dealing with a problem)The government is struggling to come up with answers to our economic problems. THESAURUSanswer something you say when someone asks you a question or speaks to youI asked if he wanted to come, but I didn’t get an answer.If you’re asking me for money, the answer’s no!reply an answer – used especially in written English to report what someone saidShe asked how he felt, and received the reply, ‘Awful!’‘Finished now?’ ‘No, ' came the reply.response an answer that clearly shows your reaction to a question, suggestion etcWagner’s responses showed that he had thought carefully about the issues.‘Sure. Why not?’ was his response to most of Billie’s suggestions.retort written an angry answer given when someone has annoyed you or criticized youIsabelle began an angry retort and then stopped herself.comeback a quick answer that is clever, funny, or rudeHe walked out before I could think of a snappy comeback.riposte formal a quick and clever answerAnna produced the perfect riposte.rejoinder formal a quick answer, especially a clever or rude oneIf he confronts them, he’ll run the risk of a sharp rejoinder.
Examples from the Corpusanswer• Answers to the letters are as varied as the children who wrote them.• We chatted about Guantanamo, me with the long questions and he with the short, abrupt answers.• We've written to the bank requesting a loan, and we're expecting an answer in this morning's mail.• Did you ever get an answer to your last letter?• The braggart turns every question into an answer that makes himself or herself look incredibly good.• In search of an answer, you follow your nose, wherever it leads, actively pursuing the mystery.• Nor can the living coelacanth suggest an answer, for today it never leaves its deep waters.• There was a question and answer period after the lecture.• Score one point for each correct answer.• Each time I ask him when the work will be done, I get a different answer.• There are no easy answers to today's environmental problems.• I've asked Yvonne to come on vacation with us, but I'm still waiting for her answer.• What was her answer?• The obvious answer is to keep poisonous plants out of children's reach.• The city council has to find a better way of dealing with domestic waste. One answer is to burn it.• The first person to call with the right answer will win 10 CDs of their choice.• And the answer is... Budapest!• Why don't people complain? The answer is that they are frightened of losing their jobs.• Think carefully before you give the answer.• A bank loan seemed like the answer to all our problems.• If you're asking me for money, the answer's no!• What's the answer to question 4?• I must also emphasise that the answer I give to the question before me will be of general application.• The answer is certainly not to pay all academics more.• The answers they gave had to be corroborated by witnesses.• The answer to your question is very simple; you failed the exam because you didn't do any work.• Write your answers on the form and send it to this address.the answer is no• The answer is no, because some truth properties and truth relations hold regardless of reference, provided meaning is held constant.• The answer is no, no no.• I told you before, the answer is no!• In the case of short-term and occasional courses the answer is no.• If you are asking whether I feel the same about her, the answer is no.• If by the Church you mean the clergy and the laity, the answer is no.• For most people, the answer is no.• Surely, the answer is no.• Parents of these children have trouble ignoring these behaviors and in being consistently firm when the answer Is no.the right/wrong/correct/incorrect answer• No one has all the right answers but there is now a willingness to share information.• They had simply assumed that, because I had asked the question, one of those words must be the right answer.• Given the monochromatic melodrama of modern country music, versatility may not be the correct answer.• The quicker the player chooses the correct answer, the more points he or she gets.• I quickly found out that knowing the right answer was much easier than selling it.• A total of 71 percent of the full attainment range sample obtained the correct answer.• But it's the wrong answer.• The point is that nobody can be sure what the correct answer actually is.answer to• I never did get an answer to that final one.• An answer to that question might give clues to the broader question of the function of sleep.• A third consideration draws attention to the association between answers to the Ten Statements Test, and another set of factors.• The attendant was entirely honest in his answers to my questions and in the amount of fuel he pumped.• At first glance the answer to this question too seems to be in the negative.• Do you really want to hear the answers to all those questions?• The answer to that question depends in part on your business.• Send your answers to Link editor, , .be the answer to somebody’s problems/worries etc• MartinBanks A wireless network system throughout the home could be the answer to everyone's problems.• They knew a dehumidifier was the answer to their problems but did not have the funds to buy one.• Before taking any decision to relocate, organisations should consider carefully whether relocation is the answer to their problems.no answer• Primo had no answer for him.• There is no answer to this tension, no way to relieve it.• He made no answer, but continued to look out at the river under the moon.• Morris offers no answers, but the often skewed perspectives of his subjects point us down most intriguing paths.• He thumped his hand on it twice and, receiving no answer, used his keys and entered.• I called him but there was no answer and he hasn't phoned me back.• When I first arrived at the flat and knocked on the door there was no answer.• At once they began to scream their daily challenge; but this time, there was no answer.• There was no answer to the phone.answeranswer2 ●●● S1 W2 verb 1 reply [intransitive, transitive]ANSWER/REPLY to say something to someone as a reply when they have asked you a question, made a suggestion etc She thought for a moment before answering. He still hadn’t answered my question. ‘Why don’t you just leave?’ ‘I’d like to, ’ she answered, ‘but I have nowhere else to go.’answer (that) When questioned, Hughes answered that he knew nothing about the robbery. How much was it? Come on, answer me.2 testTEST [intransitive, transitive]ANSWER/RESULT to write or say the answer to a question in a test or competition Answer as many questions as possible in the time provided.3 → answer the phone/a call/the door4 letterLETTER [transitive]ANSWER/REPLY if you answer a letter or advertisement, you write a letter to the person who has written it Simon got the job by answering an advert in the paper.5 → answer criticism/charges/accusations etc6 react to somethingDO something AS A REACTION [intransitive, transitive]REACT to do something as a reaction to criticism or an attack SYN respond The army answered by firing into the crowd.7 deal with a problemDEAL WITH A PROBLEM [transitive]DEAL WITH 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 need9 → answer a descriptionTHESAURUSanswer to say something to someone when they have asked you a question or spoken to youYou don’t have to answer the question if you don’t want to.I said hello to her, but she didn’t answer.reply to answer someone – used especially in written English to report what someone said‘I’m so sorry, ’ he replied.We asked Jane to help, but she replied that she was too busy.respond formal to answer someoneHow do you respond to the allegation that you deliberately deceived your employers?give somebody an answer to answer someone by telling them what you have decided or giving them a piece of information they asked forHe asked me to marry him, but I didn’t give him an answer straight away.get back to somebody to answer someone at a later time especially by telephoning them, usually because you need to think about their question or find out more informationShe’s promised to get back to me as soon as she hears any more news from the hospital.retort written to answer someone angrily, especially because they have annoyed you or criticized you‘You’re not afraid?’ Brenda asked. ‘Of course not, ’ he retorted angrily. GRAMMAR: Comparisonanswer• You answer someone: Why won’t you answer me? ✗Don’t say answer to someone in this meaning.• You answer someone’s question: You still have not answered my question.• You can use answer with speech marks (‘...’) when quoting someone’s exact words: ‘I’m fine, thank you, ’ she answered. • You can use answer that to report what someone says. After answered, the verb in the other clause is usually also in the past tense: She answered that she was fine.reply• You reply to someone’s question: You still have not replied to my question.• You can use reply with speech marks (‘...’) when quoting someone’s exact words: ‘I’m fine, thank you, ’ she replied. • You can use reply that to report what someone says. After replied, the verb in the other clause is usually also in the past tense: She replied that she was fine. → answer back → answer for somebody/something → answer to somebody/something→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusanswer• That prayer may already be answered.• I knocked on the door for a long time, but no one answered.• I said hello to her, but she didn't answer.• Julie thought for a long time before answering.• As the editor in chief of such a magazine, I am obliged to answer a lot of questions about men.• It is a long interview because he is constitutionally incapable of answering a question without at least three long digressions.• Only one person answered all the questions correctly.• You have 20 minutes to answer all the questions.• I got the job by answering an advertisement in the paper.• Whitmore never answered any of my letters.• "Why don't you just leave?" "I'd like to, " she answered, "but I have nowhere else to go."• Employing one or several people to answer calls, so that they are screened for their relevance.• If you answer correctly, you could win a video camera.• The waiters are happy to answer customers' questions.• I think the present Government has a lot to answer for.• Miss Millar hired a secretary to answer her mail while she was on vacation.• How much did you spend? Come on, answer me!• She still isn't answering my calls.• A few other players checked their watches, eager to stop fielding questions that only the Games can really answer now.• She refused to answer questions from reporters later as she left.• When questioned about the robbery, Hughes answered that he knew nothing about it.• Think carefully before answering that memo.• Be careful how you answer that one.• No one in the city government satisfactorily answered that question.• A strange man answered the door.• You don't have to answer the question if you don't want to.• Officials have made every effort to answer trade concerns.answer (that)• But there were questions that found no satisfactory answers.• The question hardly merits an answer.• And Bob Dole, he's trying to get him to answer and this Clinton he just keeps on smiling.• He had no answer and wished she would concentrate on the problems at hand.• There is a tidal wave of youth crime, and the Government have not begun to answer it.• He answered that safety was the manager's responsibility.• The questions were asked of all male nisei by the war department; answering them was voluntary.• My answer to this point will be more philosophical than empirical.Origin answer1 Old English andswaru