• To make a reply or response to.
  • To speak in defence against; to reply to in defence.
  • To respond to a call by someone at a door or telephone, or other similar piece of equipment.
  • To suit a need or purpose satisfactorily.
  • To be accountable or responsible; to make amends.
  • To file a document in response to a complaint.
  • To correspond to; to be in harmony with; to be in agreement with.
  • To be opposite, or to act in opposition.
  • To be or act in conformity, or by way of accommodation, correspondence, relation, or proportion; to conform; to correspond; to suit; usually with to.
  • To respond to satisfactorily; to meet successfully by way of explanation, argument, or justification; to refute.
  • To be or act in compliance with, in fulfillment or satisfaction of, as an order, obligation, or demand.
  • To render account to or for.
  • To atone for; to be punished for.
  • To be or act as an equivalent to, or as adequate or sufficient for; to serve for; to repay.


  • From Middle English answere, andsware, from Old English andswaru ("answer"), from and- + -swaru, (from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ent- ("front, forehead") and Old English swerian ("to swear"), from Proto-Indo-European *swer-), suggesting an original meaning of "a sworn statement rebutting a charge". The cognates suggest the existence of Proto-Germanic *andaswarō ("a reply to a question"). Cognate with Old Frisian ondser ("answer"), Old Saxon andswōr ("answer"), Danish and Swedish ansvar ("liability, responsibility, answer"), Icelandic andsvar ("answer, response"). Compare also Old English andwyrde ("answer") (cognate to Dutch antwoord, German Antwort), Old English andcwiss ("reply"), German Schwur ("oath, vow").
  • From Middle English answeren, andswaren, answerien, from Old English andswarian, answarien, from Proto-Germanic *andaswarōną, *andaswarjaną, from *anda- + *swarjaną, *swarōną, from Proto-Indo-European *swer- ("to swear") and *h₂ent-, equivalent to and- + swear. Cognate with Old Frisian ondswera ("to answer"), Danish ansvare ("to answer, account for"), Swedish ansvara ("to answer, account for"), Icelandic andsvara ("to answer, reply").

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