First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010

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Meanings and Origins

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Origin and Meaning of Answer

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
verb An"swer
  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 be or act in compliance with, in fulfillment or satisfaction of, as an order, obligation, demand; as, he answered my claim upon him; the servant answered the bell.
      "This proud king . . . studies day and night To answer all the debts he owes unto you." [Shak.]
    2. To render account to or for.
      "I will . . . send him to answer thee." [Shak.]
    3. To atone; to be punished for.
      "And grievously hath Cæzar answered it." [Shak.]
    4. To be opposite to; to face.
      "The windows answering each other, we could just discern the glowing horizon them." [Gilpin.]
    5. To be or act an equivalent to, or as adequate or sufficient for; to serve for; to repay.
      "Money answereth all things." [Eccles. x. 19.]
    6. To be or act in accommodation, conformity, relation, or proportion to; to correspond to; to suit.
      "Weapons must needs be dangerous things, if they answered the bulk of so prodigious a person." [Swift.]

Etymology: OE. andswerien, AS. andswerian andswarian, to answer, fr. andswaru, n., answer. See Answer (n.)

verb An"swer
  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. To be or act by way of compliance, fulfillment, reciprocation, or satisfaction; to serve the purpose; as, gypsum answers as a manure on some soils.
      "Do the strings answer to thy noble hand?" [Dryden.]
    2. To be opposite, or to act in opposition.
    3. To be or act as an equivalent, or as adequate or sufficient; as, a very few will answer .
    4. To be or act in conformity, or by way of accommodation, correspondence, relation, or proportion; to conform; to correspond; to suit; -- usually with to.
      "That the time may have all shadow and silence in it, and the place answer to convenience." [Shak.]
      "If this but answer to my just belief, I 'll remember you." [Shak.]
      "As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man." [Prov. xxvii. 19.]
noun An"swer
  1. A reply to a charge; 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.
  5. [Law] 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.
    synonyms: Reply; rejoinder; response. See Reply.

Etymology: OE. andsware, AS. andswaru; and against + swerian to swear. √177, 196. See Anti-, and Swear, and cf. 1st un-

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A nonverbal reaction ("his answer to any problem was to get drunk" and "their answer was to sue me")
  2. The principal pleading by the defendant in response to plaintiff's complaint; in criminal law it consists of the defendant's plea of `guilty' or `not guilty' (or nolo contendere); in civil law it must contain denials of all allegations in the plaintiff's complaint that the defendant hopes to controvert and it can contain affirmative defenses or counterclaims
  3. A statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem ("the answers were in the back of the book")
  4. A statement (either spoken or written) that is made to reply to a question or request or criticism or accusation ("I waited several days for his answer")
  5. The speech act of replying to a question
  6. Understand the meaning of ("The question concerning the meaning of life cannot be answered")
  7. Give the correct answer or solution to ("answer a question" and "answer the riddle")
  8. React to a stimulus or command ("The steering of my new car answers to the slightest touch")
  9. Respond to a signal ("answer the door" and "answer the telephone")
  10. Give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument) ("The defendant answered to all the charges of the prosecution")
  11. React verbally ("She didn't want to answer", "answer the question", and "We answered that we would accept the invitation")
  12. Be satisfactory for; meet the requirements of or serve the purpose of ("This may answer her needs")
  13. Match or correspond ("The drawing of the suspect answers to the description the victim gave")
  14. Be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity ("A few words would answer")
  15. Be liable or accountable ("She must answer for her actions")

From Middle English answere, andsware, from Old English andswaru (“answer”), from Proto-Germanic *andaswarō (“answer”), equivalent to and- +‎ swear. 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”).

  1. A response or reply; something said or done in reaction to a statement or question.
    Her to his proposal was a slap in the face.
  2. A solution to a problem.
    There is no simple to corruption.
  3. (law) A document filed in response to a complaint, responding to each point raised in the complaint and raising counterpoints.

From Middle English answeren, andswaren, from Old English andswarian (“to answer, respond, give an answer”), from Proto-Germanic *and- (“back, in return”) + *swarō (“oath”), from Proto-Germanic *swarjaną (“to speak, swear”), 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”).

    Notable Persons Named Answer


    Notable Persons With the Last Name Answer


    Fun Facts about the name Answer

    • When was the first name Answer first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Answer is Tuesday, September 21st, 1897.
    • How unique is the name Answer? From 1880 to 2016 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Answer. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
    • Weird things about the name Answer: Your name in reverse order is Rewsna. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Rwsaen. How do you pronounce that?

    What Answer's Have Visited This Page?

    Past life for Answer born Feb 27, 1924

    I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a male in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Hungary approximately on 500. Your profession was preacher, publisher, and scribbler of ancient inscriptions.

    Psychologically, you were timid, constrained, and quiet. You had creative talents, waited until that life to be liberated. Sometimes environment considered you strange. Your main lesson in present - to develop magnanimity and feeling of brotherhood. Try to become less adhered to material property and learn to have only as many, as you may give back.

    Name poster for Answer

    Name poster for Answer(click to save the high quality version)

    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.