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An answer is a reply to a question or a solution to a problem.

In law, an answer refers to a defendant’s first formal written statement to a plaintiff’s initial petition or complaint. This opening written statement will admit or deny the allegations, or demand more information about the claims of wrongdoing. Mostly, an answer includes the defendant’s counterclaims (allegations or claims against the plaintiff) and/or affirmative defenses (legal defenses that can defeat the plaintiff’s claim). 

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]