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 other defendants, or third-party claims against third parties otherwise not involved in the lawsuit
2: a written response to a counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim: reply see also responsive pleading at pleading 1
◇ In federal cases, answers are governed by Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under Rule 12, certain defenses (as lack of jurisdiction) may be made by motion rather than included in the answer.
answer 2 vi
1: to serve or file an answer
2: to make oneself responsible or accountable (as for the debt of another)
1: to reply to in an answer
answer the complaint
2: to make a defense against (as a charge or accusation)
an·swer·able adj

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I (judicial response) noun confutation, contradictory evidence, countercharge, counterclaim, counterevidence, counterreply, counterstatement, defense, denial, legal argument, negation, negative evidence, official reply, opposite evidence, plea, plea in rebuttal, rebuttal, rebutting evidence, recrimination, refutation, rejoinder, replication, reply to a charge, surrebuttal, surrebutter, surrejoinder associated concepts: amended answer, appearance by an answer, frivolous answer, general appearance, notice of appearance, responsive answer, sham answer, supplemental answer foreign phrases:
- Ambigua responsio contra proferentem est accipienda. — An ambiguous answer is to be taken against him who offers it
II (reply) noun acknowledgment, denial, negation, reaction, rebuttal, refutal, rejoinder, repartee, replication, respondence, response, retort, return, riposte associated concepts: argumentative answer, irrelevant answer, nonresponsive answer, responsive answer III (solution) noun cause, elucidation, explanation, finding, outcome, reason, resolution, result, revelation, verdict IV (be responsible) verb be accountable, be answerable, be bound, be chargeable, be compelled, be liable, be obligated, be obliged, be subject, be surety, be under legal obligation, undertake responsibility V (reply) verb acknowledge, act in response to, be responsive, confute, contend, contest, contradict, contravene, controvert, counter, counterclaim, debate, defeat, defend, deny, disclaim, disprove, dispute, forswear, impugn, make a rejoinder, oppose, oppugn, plead, rebut, refute, rejoin, repudiate, rescribere, respond, respondere, retaliate, retort, return, riposte, say in reply, se defendere, traverse associated concepts: answer in the alternative, argumentative answer VI (respond legally) verb contest, controvert, counterblast, countercharge, counterclaim, defend, plead, rebut, recriminate, rejoin, reply, surrejoin associated concepts: appearance by an answer, argumentative answer, supplemental answer VII index acknowledge (respond), acknowledgment (acceptance), appear (attend court proceedings), appearance (coming into court), controvert, converse, counterargument, countercharge, disclosure (something disclosed), find (discover), fulfill, key (solution), outcome, panacea, plea, pleading, reaction (response), rebut, rejoinder, reply (noun), reply (verb), report (present oneself), respond, response, retort, return (respond), solve, verdict

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

(1) A response; a reaction.
(2) A pleading submitted by a defendant in response to a plaintiff’s complaint, containing denials of allegations, affirmative defenses, and counterclaims.
To respond; to file an answer to a complaint with the court.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

A defendant's written response to a plaintiff's initial court filing (called a complaint or petition). An answer normally denies some or all of the facts asserted by the complaint, and sometimes seeks to turn the tables on the plaintiff by making allegations or charges against the plaintiff (called counterclaims) or providing justification for the defendant's behavior (called affirmative defenses). Normally a defendant has 30 days in which to file an answer after being served with the plaintiff's complaint. In some courts, an answer is called a "response."
Category: Accidents & Injuries
Category: Representing Yourself in Court
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 v. To respond to a pleading, discovery request, or other judicial process or procedural step.
2 v. To address or counter allegations, account for one's actions, or otherwise put up a defense.
3 v. To assume the liability or responsibility for another's actions.
4 v. To pay a debt or other liability; to suffer the consequences for one's actions.
5 n. A pleading that is a defendant's principal response to a plaintiff's complaint. It denies, admits, or otherwise addresses each of the allegations in the complaint. It also usually sets forth the defendant's affirmative defenses and counterclaims.
See also reply.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

The first responsive pleading filed by the defendant in a civil action; a formal written statement that admits or denies the allegations in the complaint and sets forth any available affirmative defenses.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

The first responsive pleading filed by the defendant in a civil action; a formal written statement that admits or denies the allegations in the complaint and sets forth any available affirmative defenses.
II A formal, written statement by the defendant in a lawsuit which answers each allegation contained in the complaint. ══════════════════ answers to interrogatories - A formal written statement by a party to a lawsuit which answers each question or interrogatory propounded by the other party. These answers must be acknowledged before a notary public or other person authorized to take acknowledgments.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   in law, a written pleading filed by a defendant to respond to a complaint in a lawsuit filed and served upon that defendant. An answer generally responds to each allegation in the complaint by denying or admitting it, or admitting in part and denying in part. The answer may also com- prise "affirmative defenses" including allegations which contradict the complaint or contain legal theories (like "unclean hands," "contributory negligence" or "anticipatory breach") which are intended to derail the claims in the complaint. Sometimes the answer is in the form of a "general denial," denying everything. The answer must be in typed form, follow specific rules of pleading established by law and the courts, and be filed with the court and served on the defendant within a specific statutory time (e.g. 20 or 30 days after service of the complaint). If the complaint is verified as under penalty of perjury, the answer must be also. There is a fairly steep filing fee for each defendant filing an answer. In short, if served a complaint, one should see a lawyer as soon as possible to prevent a default judgment.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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