with suspicion, mistrust, or disapproval:
He looked askance at my offer.
with a side glance; sidewise; obliquely.
She was desperately conscious of me, watching me askant with the curiously commingled fear and trustfulness of a child.
McClure’s Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 Various
Captain Jackman, in these few moments of pause in the talk, seemed to make an askant study of the commander, who sat opposite.
A Tale of Two Tunnels William Clark Russell
Thereupon Mr B. looked at me askant out of his gipsy eyes, as if he thought me an example of the evils of female education!
The Life of George Borrow Herbert Jenkins
A few quiet tears followed these brave words, and Grace looked at her askant, and began to do her justice.
Put Yourself in His Place Charles Reade
Gerard pondered these simple words, and eyed her askant, carrying the child with perfect ease.
The Cloister and the Hearth Charles Reade
with an oblique glance
with doubt or mistrust
1520s, “sideways, asquint,” of obscure origin. OED has separate listings for askance and obsolete Middle English askance(s) and no indication of a connection, but Barnhart and others derive the newer word from the older one. The Middle English word, recorded early 14c. as ase quances and found later in Chaucer, meant “in such a way that; even as; as if;” and as an adverb “insincerely, deceptively.” It has been analyzed as a compound of as and Old French quanses (pronounced “kanses”) “how if,” from Latin quam “how” + si “if.”
The E[nglish] as is, accordingly, redundant, and merely added by way of partial explanation. The M.E. askances means “as if” in other passages, but here means, “as if it were,” i.e. “possibly,” “perhaps”; as said above. Sometimes the final s is dropped …. [Walter W. Skeat, glossary to Chaucer’s “Man of Law’s Tale,” 1894]
Also see discussion in Leo Spitzer, “Anglo-French Etymologies,” Philological Quarterly 24.23 (1945), and see OED entry for askance (adv.) for discussion of the mysterious ask- word cluster in English. Other guesses about the origin of askance include Old French a escone, from past participle of a word for “hidden;” Italian a scancio “obliquely, slantingly;” or that it is a cognate of askew.
see: look askance
any of the class of synthetic, nonflammable, liquid dielectrics used chiefly for insulation in transformers.
a native African police officer or soldier, especially one serving a colonial administration. Historical Examples An hour or two ago he was a fugitive, practically unarmed, with nearly a score of askari hunting him down. Samba Herbert Strang It was just at this point that they met a party of askari marching in the other […]
a native African police officer or soldier, especially one serving a colonial administration. Historical Examples The askaris kept double guard; but at dawn eleven of the porters were missing. Sacrifice Stephen French Whitman We had four askaris, one of whom was the noisiest man I have ever heard. In Africa John T. McCutcheon Both porters […]
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: […]