1an;swer pronunciation: function: noun etymology: middle english, from old english andswaru (akin to old norse andsvar answer); akin to old english and- against, swerian to swear — more at ante-date: before 12th century 1 a : something spoken or written in reply to a question b : a correct response lt;knows the answergt;2 : a reply to a legal charge or suit : plea; also : defense3 : something done in response or reaction lt;his only answer was to walk outgt;4 : a solution of a problem lt;more money is not the answergt;5 : one that imitates, matches, or corresponds to another lt;television's answer to the news magazinesgt;synonyms answer, response, reply, rejoinder, retort mean something spoken, written, or done in return. answer implies the satisfying of a question, demand, call, or need lt;had answers to all their questionsgt;. response may imply a quick or spontaneous reaction to a person or thing that serves as a stimulus lt;a response to the call for recruitsgt;. reply often suggests a thorough response to all issues, points, or questions raised lt;a point-by-point reply to the accusationgt;. rejoinder can be a response to a reply or to an objection lt;a salesman with a quick rejoinder to every argumentgt;. retort implies a reaction to an implicit or explicit charge, criticism, or attack which contains a countercharge or counterattack lt;she made a cutting retort to her criticsgt;.