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Answerable to

liable to be asked to give account; responsible:
He is answerable to a committee for all his decisions.
capable of being :
a question answerable by mail.
proportionate; correlative (usually followed by to).
corresponding; suitable (usually followed by to):
The amount is not answerable to my needs.
(postpositive; foll by for or to) responsible or accountable: answerable for someone’s safety, answerable to one’s boss
able to be answered

“liable to be held responsible,” 1540s, from answer (v.) + -able. Less-common meaning “able to be answered” is from 1690s.


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  • Answerer

    a spoken or written reply or response to a question, request, letter, etc.: He sent an answer to my letter promptly. a correct response to a question asked to test one’s knowledge. an equivalent or approximation: a singing group that tried to be the French answer to the Beatles. an action serving as a reply […]

  • Answering machine

    an electronic device that is attached to a telephone and that automatically answers callers with a prerecorded message and records their messages for later playback. Contemporary Examples Their tryst, however, is broken up several times by messages playing from the answering machine and never comes to fruition. Some of the Juiciest Bits of ‘Rodham,’ the […]

  • Answering pennant

    one of the flags of the International Code of Signals, a pennant of three red and two white vertical stripes, flown at the dip while a message is being interpreted and close up when it is understood. Historical Examples There goes her answering pennant; and there she hauls to the wind on the starboard tack. […]

  • Answering service

    a service providing operators who answer a subscriber’s telephone and take messages when the subscriber does not answer.

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