I've heard of the adjectives 'nonresponsive' or 'unresponsive', but are they restricted to law^?

Collins Dictionary: nonresponsive = not responsive, not reacting to a stimulus

The definition above differs from the definitions of adjectives like 'equivocate, evade' and nouns like 'dodging', but these are negative and accusive; I prefer neutral connotation.

^Only if you wish, please see: http://law.indiana.edu/instruction/tanford/web/reference/objections.html, p 169 of The Trial Lawyer: What it Takes to Win by David Berg,
p 271 of Trials: Strategy, Skills, and the New Power of Persuasion by Thomas A. Mauet.


How about calling it an irrelevant answer? Merriam-Webster's definition of "irrelevant" is "not important or relating to what is being discussed right now."

You could also call the answer insufficient, which Merriam-Webster defines as "not having or providing enough of what is needed." However, this seems to be more suited to a situation when someone answers part of the question but not all of it.

  1. Off-topic
  2. Non sequitur
  3. Inapplicable
  4. Tangential
  5. A politician, as in any answer a politician gives to any question

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