Meaning of “answer” in the English Dictionary

"answer" in British English

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answernoun [ C ]

uk /ˈɑːn.sər/ us /ˈæn.sɚ/

answer noun [ C ] (REACTION)

A1 a reaction to a question, letter, phone call, etc.:

The minister promised to give a written answer to the MP's detailed question.
We've emailed him asking him if he's free on that date but we haven't had an answer yet.
I've just called him but there was no answer.
I didn't realize we had to write each answer on a new sheet of paper.
I got eight correct answers and two wrong ones in last week's exam.
In answer to your letter of 30 May, I am writing to accept your offer of £3,575 in compensation.

More examples

  • We need a definite answer by tomorrow.
  • Can you figure out the answer to question 5?
  • I'd like you to give me an honest answer.
  • I'll think it over and give you an answer next week.
  • The public has a right to expect truthful answers from politicians.

answer noun [ C ] (SOLUTION)

B1 a solution to a problem:

It's a difficult situation and I don't know what the answer is.
There's no easy answer to the problem.

More examples

  • I spent hours doing that calculation and I still got the answer wrong.
  • Surely the answer's obvious - or are you being deliberately obtuse?
  • You got 20 percent of the answers right - that means one in every five.
  • You'll never guess the answer - do you give in?
  • His nimble mind calculated the answer before I could key the numbers into my computer.

answerverb

uk /ˈɑːn.sər/ us /ˈæn.sɚ/

answer verb (REACT)

A1 [ I or T ] to say, write, or do something as a reaction to a question, letter, etc.:

I can't answer (you) without more detailed information.
You haven't answered my question.
I texted asking whether he'd be coming to the party but he hasn't answered yet.
[ + speech ] "I'd love to have dinner with you, but I won't be able to get there before nine o'clock," she answered.
[ + that ] She answered that she wouldn't be able to come before nine o'clock.
formal Does anyone here answer to the name of (= is anyone here called) Wallis?

A2 [ I or T ] to open the door to someone or pick up the phone:

Someone's at the door - would you answer it, please?
I phoned last night but nobody answered.

More examples

  • I went downstairs to answer the phone.
  • Candidates must answer two questions from each paper.
  • Students are advised to answer all questions as fully as possible.
  • When no one answered the door, she peered through the window to see if anyone was there.
  • She spent the morning reading and answering her mail.

(Definition of “answer” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"answer" in American English

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answernoun [ C ]

us /ˈæn·sər/

answer noun [ C ] (REACTION)

something said or written in reaction to a question or statement:

If you are asking me if I want to go into business with you, the answer is no.
I called several times, but there was no answer.

An answer is also a reaction to a question asked as part of a test:

I think I got most of the answers right on the exam.

answer noun [ C ] (SOLUTION)

a solution to a problem:

There is no easy answer to the problem.

(Definition of “answer” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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