Ask



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.
the first man, made by the gods from an ash tree.
Contemporary Examples

Even Chris Wallace finally felt the need to ask him the “who do you think you are kidding?”
Fox News’ GOP Debate Debacle Matt Latimer May 5, 2011

On Tuesday night, the people who know Cianci best decided that they know him a little too well to ask him back to lead their city.
Former Providence Mayor & Ex-Con Buddy Cianci’s Redemption Tour Goes Bust David Freedlander November 3, 2014

I stand today in absentia with Julian Assange in London and I ask the judge to grant him his release.
Why I’m Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange Michael Moore December 13, 2010

The way to think about this new Facebook messaging service is not to ask yourself “Would I use it?”
Facebook’s New Battle With Google David Kirkpatrick November 14, 2010

I ask when I first meet Ware in the parking lot of a Walmart in San Leandro, California.
Pushing for Justice at Walmart Sally Kohn December 15, 2013

Historical Examples

I ask you to share with me today the majesty of this moment.
United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches Various

ask the young noble, who has been to him as a father; and his response will be ‘Anaxagoras.’
Philothea Lydia Maria Child

And then, in the face of that, you ask me if her life is of such consequence to me?
Luttrell Of Arran Charles James Lever

But I kept looking and after awhile I was able to sit up and ask what hit me.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

Just pass it over lightly if they ask you anything about it.
The Story of a Play W. D. Howells

verb
(often foll by about) to put a question (to); request an answer (from): she asked (him) about God
(transitive) to inquire about: she asked him the time of the train, she asked the way
(transitive) to direct or put (a question)
(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
(transitive) to demand or expect (esp in the phrases ask a lot of, ask too much of)
(transitive) Also ask out, ask over. to request (a person) politely to come or go to a place; invite: he asked her to the party
(transitive) to need; require: the job asks both time and patience
(transitive) (archaic) to proclaim (marriage banns)
noun
(Brit & Austral, NZ, informal) a big ask, a tough ask, a task which is difficult to fulfil
noun
(Norse myth) the first man, created by the gods from an ash tree
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.

Amplitude Shift Keying

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

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    verb (preposition) to make inquiries about the health of (someone): he asked after her mother

  • Ask for

    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: […]



  • Ask for it

    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: […]

  • Ask for the moon

    Make an unreasonable demand, request the unattainable, as in $1,000 for her birthday? Mary might as well be asking for the moon. This hyperbolic idiom appeared in the mid-1800s in slightly different form. Charles Dickens had it as cry for the moon (in Bleak House, 1852) and William Makepeace Thackeray as wish for the moon […]



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