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ask

[ask, ahsk]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to put a question to; inquire of: I asked him but he didn't answer.
  2. to request information about: to ask the way.
  3. to try to get by using words; request: to ask advice; to ask a favor.
  4. to solicit from; request of: Could I ask you a favor? Ask her for advice.
  5. to demand; expect: What price are they asking? A little silence is all I ask.
  6. to set a price of: to ask $20 for the hat.
  7. to call for; need; require: This experiment asks patience.
  8. to invite: to ask guests to dinner.
  9. Archaic. to publish (banns).
verb (used without object)
  1. to make inquiry; inquire: to ask about a person.
  2. to request or petition (usually followed by for): to ask for leniency; to ask for food.
Idioms
  1. ask for it, to risk or invite trouble, danger, punishment, etc., by persisting in some action or manner: He was asking for it by his abusive remarks.

Origin of ask

before 900; Middle English asken, axen, Old English āscian, āxian; cognate with Old Frisian āskia, Old Saxon ēscon, Old High German eiscōn (German heischen), Sanskrit icchati (he) seeks
Related formsask·er, nounun·ask·ing, adjectiveun·ask·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. question, interrogate. 3, 11. sue, appeal. 4. beseech, beg, entreat. 10. See inquire.

Antonyms

1, 10. answer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for asker

Historical Examples

  • It was a common question with no meaning to the asker, but of how much to Tara!

    Tara

    Philip Meadows Taylor

  • If the asker's needs were greater than his own he divided with him the little which he had.

    William Lloyd Garrison

    Archibald H. Grimke

  • This latter question, we believe, is frequently the outcome of carelessness or laziness on the part of the asker.

    The Sea Shore

    William S. Furneaux

  • No one refuses the asker anything that he possesses; on the contrary, they themselves invite us to ask for it.

  • Questions as to the value of money and power were almost invariably brushed aside, or pressed at extreme risk to the asker.

    Monday or Tuesday

    Virginia Woolf


British Dictionary definitions for asker

ask

verb
  1. (often foll by about) to put a question (to); request an answer (from)she asked ( him ) about God
  2. (tr) to inquire aboutshe asked him the time of the train; she asked the way
  3. (tr) to direct or put (a question)
  4. (may take a clause as object or an infinitive often foll by for) to make a request or demandshe asked ( him ) for information; they asked for a deposit
  5. (tr) to demand or expect (esp in the phrases ask a lot of, ask too much of)
  6. Also: ask out, ask over (tr) to request (a person) politely to come or go to a place; invitehe asked her to the party
  7. (tr) to need; requirethe job asks both time and patience
  8. (tr) archaic to proclaim (marriage banns)
noun
  1. a big ask or a tough ask British, Australian and NZ informal a task which is difficult to fulfil
See also ask after, ask for
Derived Formsasker, noun

Word Origin

Old English āscian; related to Old Frisian āskia, Old Saxon ēscon, Old High German eiscōn

Ask

noun
  1. Norse myth the first man, created by the gods from an ash tree
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for asker

ask

v.

Old English ascian "ask, call for an answer; make a request," from earlier ahsian, from Proto-Germanic *aiskojan (cf. Old Saxon escon, Old Frisian askia "request, demand, ask," Middle Dutch eiscen, Dutch eisen "to ask, demand," Old High German eiscon "to ask (a question)," German heischen "to ask, demand"), from PIE *ais- "to wish, desire" (cf. Sanskrit icchati "seeks, desires," Armenian aic "investigation," Old Church Slavonic iskati "to seek," Lithuanian ieškau "to seek").

Form in English influenced by a Scandinavian form of the word (cf. Danish æske; the Old English would have evolved by normal sound changes into ash, esh, which was a Midlands and s.w. England dialect form). Modern dialectal ax is as old as Old English acsian and was an accepted literary variant until c.1600. Related: Asked; asking. Old English also had fregnan/frignan which carried more directly the sense of "question, inquire," and is from PIE root *prek-, the common source of words for "ask" in most Indo-European languages (see pray). If you ask me "in my opinion" is attested from 1910. Asking price is attested from 1755.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with asker

asker

In addition to the idioms beginning with ask

, see

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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