The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Reply \Re*ply"\, n.; pl. Replies (-pl?z"). [See Reply, v.
i., and cf. Replica.]
That which is said, written, or done in answer to what is
said, written, or done by another; an answer; a response.
Syn: Answer; rejoinder; response.
Usage: Reply, Rejoinder, Answer. A reply is a distinct
response to a formal question or attack in speech or
writing. A rejoinder is a second reply (a reply to a
reply) in a protracted discussion or controversy. The
word answer is used in two senses, namely (1), in the
most general sense of a mere response; as, the answer
to a question; or (2), in the sense of a decisive and
satisfactory confutation of an adversary's argument,
as when we speak of a triumphant answer to the speech
or accusations of an opponent. Here the noun
corresponds to a frequent use of the verb, as when we
say. "This will answer (i.e., fully meet) the end in
view;" "It answers the purpose."