Meaning: to reply rudely to someone who is in a position of authority, such as a teacher, a parent or a coach
- answer back Harry's students don't respect him. Some of them even answer back rudely when he asks them to do something.
- answer sb back My son answers his mother back when she tells him to do something like clean his room. He says things like "Clean it yourself!"
answer back: parent, teacher, coach, supervisor, manager, warder
Note: This phrasal verb is usually only used to describe the behaviour of a subordinate towards an authority figure, such as a child towards a parent, a student towards a teacher, a junior employee towards a workplace supervisor, or a prisoner towards a warder.
If a teacher has students answering him back, it means the students