Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
From the root שׁ־א־ל (sh-'-l).
שָׁאַל (sha`ál) (pa'ál construction)
- (ask): Unlike English ask, Hebrew שָׁאַל is not usually used in the sense of “request”; for that, ביקש \ בִּקֵּשׁ (bikésh, “ask for, request”) is used.
- (borrow): Unlike English borrow, Hebrew שָׁאַל is not used with loans that are not returned exactly, such as money (since one does not return the same money that one borrows, as in the same bills or coins or the like, but rather an equivalent amount of money); for that, הִלְוָה (hilvá, “borrow (money, etc.)”) is used.