ANSWER (derived from and, against, and the same root as
swear), originally a solemn assertion in opposition to some one or
something, and thus generally any counter-statement or defence,
a reply to a question or objection, or a correct solution of a problem.
In English law, the “answer” in pleadings was, previous to the
Judicature Acts 1873-1875, the statement of defence, especially
as regards the facts and not the law. Its place is now taken by a
“statement of defence.” “Answer” is the term still applied in
divorce proceedings to the reply of the respondent (see Pleading).
The famous Latin Responsa Prudentum (“answers of the learned”)
were the accumulated views of many successive generations of
Roman lawyers, a body of legal opinion which gradually became
authoritative. In music an “answer” is the technical name in
counterpoint for the repetition by one part or instrument of a
theme proposed by another.
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