1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Answer

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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.