answer

[OE] Etymologically, the word answer contains the notion of making a sworn statement rebutting a charge. It comes from a prehistoric West and North Germanic compound *andswarō; the first element of this was the prefix *and- ‘against’, related to German ent- ‘away, un-’ and to Greek anti-, source of English anti-; and the second element came from the same source as English swear. In Old English, the Germanic compound became andswaru (noun) and andswarian (verb) ‘reply’, which by the 14th century had been reduced to answer. The synonymous respond has a similar semantic history: Latin respondēre meant ‘make a solemn promise in return’, hence ‘reply’. And, as another element in the jigsaw, Swedish ansvar means ‘responsibility’ – a sense echoed by English answerable. => SWEAR 27 antimony

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • answer — an·swer 1 n 1: the defendant s written response to the plaintiff s complaint in a civil suit in which he or she may deny any of plaintiff s allegations, offer any defenses, and make any counterclaims against the plaintiff, cross claims against… …   Law dictionary

  • answer — n reply, response, rejoinder, retort (see under ANSWER vb 1) Analogous words: defense, vindication, justification (see corresponding verbs at MAINTAIN): refutation, rebuttal (see corresponding verbs at DISPROVE) Contrasted words: question, query …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • answer to — 1. To give an indication of accepting as one s name 2. To have as one s name (informal) 3. To be accountable to • • • Main Entry: ↑answer * * * answer to (the name of) often humorous be called …   Useful english dictionary

  • Answer — An swer ([a^]n s[ e]r), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Answered} ([a^]n s[ e]rd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Answering}.] [OE. andswerien, AS. andswerian, andswarian, to answer, fr. andswaru, n., answer. See {Answer}, n.] 1. To speak in defense against; to reply to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • answer — [an′sər, än′sər] n. [ME andsware < OE andswaru < and , against + swerian, SWEAR] 1. something said or written in return to a question, argument, letter, etc. 2. any act in response or retaliation [his answer was a well aimed blow] 3. one… …   English World dictionary

  • Answer — An swer, v. i. 1. To speak or write by way of return (originally, to a charge), or in reply; to make response. [1913 Webster] There was no voice, nor any that answered. 1 Kings xviii. 26. [1913 Webster] 2. To make a satisfactory response or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Answer — An swer, n. [OE. andsware, AS. andswaru; and against + swerian to swear. [root]177, 196. See {Anti }, and {Swear}, and cf. 1st {un }.] 1. A reply to a charge; a defense. [1913 Webster] At my first answer no man stood with me. 2 Tim. iv. 16. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Answer Me — is a popular song, originally written (with German lyrics, under the title Mutterlein ) by Gerhard Winkler and Fred Rauch. The English lyrics were written by Carl Sigman in 1952. After the song was recorded by David Whitfield and Frankie Laine in …   Wikipedia

  • Answer —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir The Answer.  Answer est un film américain indépendant réalisé par Spike Lee en 1980. Fiche technique Réalisation : Spike Lee Pays  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • answer to — a person or thing regarded as the equivalent to a better known one from another place: → answer answer to be responsible or report to. → answer …   English new terms dictionary

  • answer — [n] reply; reaction acknowledgment, antiphon, backcap*, back talk, band aid*, close, comeback, comment, cooler*, counterclaim, crack, defense, disclosure, echo, elucidation, explanation, feedback, guff*, interpretation, justification, key, lip*,… …   New thesaurus

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