1 To speak in defense against; to reply to in defense; as, to answer a charge; to answer an accusation.
2 To speak or write in return to, as in return to a call or question, or to a speech, declaration, argument, or the like; to reply to (a question, remark, etc.); to respond to. She answers him as if she knew his mind. Shak. So spake the apostate angel, though in pain: . . . And him thus answered soon his bold compeer. Milton.
3 To respond to satisfactorily; to meet successfully by way of explanation, argument, or justification, and the like; to refute. No man was able to answer him a word. Matt. xxii. 46. These shifts refuted, answer thine appellant. Milton. The reasoning was not and could not be answered. Macaulay.
4 To be or act in return or response to. Hence:
1 To speak or write by way of return (originally, to a charge), or in reply; to make response. There was no voice, nor any that answered. 1 Kings xviii. 26.
2 To make a satisfactory response or return. Hence: To render account, or to be responsible; to be accountable; to make amends; as, the man must answer to his employer for the money intrusted to his care. Let his neck answer for it, if there is any martial law. Shak.
3 To be or act in return. Hence:
1 A reply to a change; a defense. At my first answer no man stood with me. 2 Tim. iv. 16.
2 Something said or written in reply to a question, a call, an argument, an address, or the like; a reply. A soft answer turneth away wrath. Prov. xv. 1. I called him, but he gave me no answer. Cant. v. 6.
3 Something done in return for, or in consequence of, something else; a responsive action. Great the slaughter is Here made by the Roman; great the answer be Britons must take. Shak.
4 A solution, the result of a mathematical operation; as, the answer to a problem.
A counter-statement of facts in a course of pleadings; a confutation of what the other party has alleged; a responsive declaration by a witness in reply to a question. In Equity, it is the usual form of defense to the complainant’s charges in his bill. Bouvier.