- to put a question to; inquire of: I asked him but he didn't answer.
- to request information about: to ask the way.
- to try to get by using words; request: to ask advice; to ask a favor.
- to solicit from; request of: Could I ask you a favor? Ask her for advice.
- to demand; expect: What price are they asking? A little silence is all I ask.
- to set a price of: to ask $20 for the hat.
- to call for; need; require: This experiment asks patience.
- to invite: to ask guests to dinner.
- Archaic. to publish (banns).
- to make inquiry; inquire: to ask about a person.
- to request or petition (usually followed by for): to ask for leniency; to ask for food.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for ask on Thesaurus.com
- the first man, made by the gods from an ash tree.
Origin of Ask
Examples from the Web for ask
And I need to ask why their truth makes me so defensive, as if my truth is the only truth.In 2015, Let’s Try for More Compassion
January 4, 2015
One is forced to ask, what on earth was Andrew doing hanging out with scantily clad teenagers?Buckingham Palace Disputes Sex Allegations Against Prince ‘Randy Andy’
January 4, 2015
“You ask me my motivation,” Marvin says, moving back into his tough guy persona again.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
I ask Atefeh and Monir if they see dancing as a form of income in the future, a potential career.Iran’s Becoming a Footloose Nation as Dance Lessons Spread
January 2, 2015
My wife was talking to her on the phone, and I just kinda found the courage to ask her.Deer Tick's John McCauley on Ten Years in Rock and Roll
January 2, 2015
Ask the poor fisherman at the gates, who has been to him as a brother; and he will answer 'Anaxagoras.'
I have another favour to ask, in addition to the many claims you already have upon me.
Look out you don't get mixed up in it yourself, that's all I ask.
Ask the young noble, who has been to him as a father; and his response will be 'Anaxagoras.'
But I kept looking and after awhile I was able to sit up and ask what hit me.
- (often foll by about) to put a question (to); request an answer (from)she asked ( him ) about God
- (tr) to inquire aboutshe asked him the time of the train; she asked the way
- (tr) to direct or put (a question)
- (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
- (tr) to demand or expect (esp in the phrases ask a lot of, ask too much of)
- Also: ask out, ask over (tr) to request (a person) politely to come or go to a place; invitehe asked her to the party
- (tr) to need; requirethe job asks both time and patience
- (tr) archaic to proclaim (marriage banns)
- a big ask or a tough ask British, Australian and NZ informal a task which is difficult to fulfil
- Norse myth the first man, created by the gods from an ash tree
Word Origin and History for ask
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.
Idioms and Phrases with ask
In addition to the idioms beginning with ask
- ask a stupid question and you'll get a stupid answer
- ask for
- ask for the moon
- ask out
- don't ask
- for the asking