[ ask, ahsk ]
See synonyms for ask on
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.

  1. to try to get by using words; request: to ask advice; to ask a favor.

  2. to solicit from; request of: Could I ask you a favor? Ask her for advice.

  3. to demand; expect: What price are they asking? A little silence is all I ask.

  4. to set a price of: to ask $20 for the hat.

  5. to call for; need; require: This experiment asks patience.

  6. to invite: to ask guests to dinner.

  7. 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.

  1. a question or inquiry.

  2. a request, especially a demanding one: Is it too big an ask for you to give me a loan?

Idioms about ask

  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

First recorded 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”

synonym study For ask

10. See inquire.

Other words for ask

Opposites for ask

Other words from ask

  • asker, noun
  • un·ask·ing, adjective
  • un·ask·ing·ly, adverb

Other definitions for Ask (2 of 2)

[ ahsk ]

nounScandinavian Mythology.
  1. the first man, made by the gods from an ash tree.

Origin of Ask

<Old Norse Askr;see ash2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ask in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ask (1 of 2)


/ (ɑːsk) /

  1. (often foll by about) to put a question (to); request an answer (from): she asked ( him ) about God

  2. (tr) to inquire about: she asked him the time of the train; she asked the way

  1. (tr) to direct or put (a question)

  2. (may take a clause as object or an infinitive often foll by for) to make a request or demand: she asked ( him ) for information; they asked for a deposit

  3. (tr) to demand or expect (esp in the phrases ask a lot of, ask too much of)

  4. Also: ask out, ask over (tr) to request (a person) politely to come or go to a place; invite: he asked her to the party

  5. (tr) to need; require: the job asks both time and patience

  6. (tr) archaic to proclaim (marriage banns)

  1. a big ask or a tough ask British, Australian and NZ informal a task which is difficult to fulfil

Origin of ask

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

Derived forms of ask

  • asker, noun

British Dictionary definitions for Ask (2 of 2)


/ (ɑːsk) /

  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

Other 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

, see

  • don't ask
  • for the asking

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