How Do You Spell Answer? English Spelling Dictionary

Spelling of Answer: Answer is spelled a-n-s-w-e-r.

Definition of Answer: An answer is a response to a question—either written or spoken. An answer is also something that is done in response or reaction, and, a solution to a problem.

To answer is to write or speak as a return in response to a question, to act in response, and, to be liable or accountable (for something).

Pronunciation of Answer: Answer is pronounced ann-sur.

How to Use Answer in a Sentence

What does answer mean? The word answer functions as a noun and a verb.

An answer is a reply to a question, a solution to a problem, and,something that someone does in response or reaction to someone or something else.

how to spell answerFor example,

  • The young boy’s parents did not believe his answer to their question about where he had been all night. (sense 1)
  • Only one of her answers on the test was wrong. (sense 2)
  • His only answer was to leave the house and think about the situation. (sense 3)

As a verb, answer can be used transitively and intransitively. The verb answer refers to responding to someone’s question, speaking or writing in response to something, and solving or offering a solution to a problem.

For example,

  • I did answer all their questions, but they didn’t seem satisfied with my responses.
  • All the able-bodied and healthy men – young and old – answered the call to war.
  • After he correctly answered the riddle, he acted rather haughty.

Additionally, to answer is to make amends for or take responsibility or accountability for.

For example,

  • After years of hiding, the middle-aged man was tired and finally decided to answer for his crimes.
  • The lender would never let him get away or refuse to answer for his debt.

Phrases & Idioms That Use Answer

Answer to: to report to a boss or superior.

  • Who do you answer to here?

(Won’t/don’t) take no for an answer: refuse to accept a negative response to a question or request.

Answer the call of nature: to go to the bathroom. 

Answer the door: open the door; greet someone at the door.

Answer to someone’s prayers: the solution to one’s prayers or problem(s); wanted for a long time.

History & Etymology of Answer

The word answer first appeared in English sometime before the 12th century, according to Merriam-Webster’s.

Answer comes from Middle English via Old English andswaru, which is akin to Old Norse andsvar, meaning answer, and to Old English and-, against and swerian, meaning to swear.

Synonyms for Answer

Where it means something written or spoken in reaction to a question or request, the following words may be substituted for answer, if the context allows.

  • Reply
  • Response
  • Retort
  • Return
  • Rejoinder
  • Comeback

When answer is used to refer to the accomplishment or resolution of a problem, the following words can be substituted.

  • Solution
  • Result

As it refers to an action or behavior done in return to another, the following words can replace answer.

  • Reaction
  • Reply
  • Response
  • Take

Outside Examples of Answer

  • The question and answer session, that followed the university speech that lasted almost two hours, ended with students singing the French anthem and loudly applauding Macron. – Houston Chronicle
  • There are still too many questions, and other states and countries — where pot already has been legalized — will soon enough have a better handle on the answers. – The Chicago Sun-Times


The word answer can function as a noun and verb. As a verb, it can be used transitively and intransitively.