- Rhymes: -ɑːsk, -æsk
- Homophones: ax, axe (some dialects)
From Middle English asken (also esken, aschen, eschen, etc.), from Old English āscian, from Proto-West Germanic *aiskōn, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eys- (“to wish; request”). Compare German heischen, Dutch eisen.
ask (third-person singular simple present asks, present participle asking, simple past and past participle asked)
- (transitive or ditransitive) To request (information, or an answer to a question).
- I asked her age.
- I asked her (for) her age.
- To put forward (a question) to be answered.
- to ask a question
- To interrogate or enquire of (a person).
- I'm going to ask this lady for directions.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, John 9:21:
- He is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.
- To request or petition; usually with for.
- to ask for a second helping at dinner
- to ask for help with homework
- Emma asked Jim to close his eyes.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Matthew 7:7:
- Ask, and it shall be given you.
- To request permission to do something.
- She asked to see the doctor.
- Did you ask to use the car?
- To require, demand, claim, or expect, whether by way of remuneration or return, or as a matter of necessity.
- What price are you asking for the house?
- 1705, J[oseph] Addison, Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, &c. in the Years 1701, 1702, 1703, London: […] Jacob Tonson, […], →OCLC:
- But in any Exigence of State, like that they are now pressed with, it certainly asks a much longer time to conduct any Design, for the Good of the Common-wealth, to its Maturity and Perfection.
- To invite.
- Don't ask them to the wedding.
- To publish in church for marriage; said of both the banns and the persons.
- (figuratively) To take (a person's situation) as an example.
- 1990 April 26, Paul Wiseman, “Dark days”, in USA Today:
- Even when the damage isn't that clear cut, the intangible burdens of a bad image can add up. Just ask Dow Chemical.
- This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive. See Appendix:English catenative verbs
- Pronouncing ask as /æks/ is a common example of metathesis (attested since the Old English period) and still common in some varieties of English, notably African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and Multicultural London English (MLE).
- The action expressed by the verb ask can also be expressed by the noun-verb combination pose a question.
- In older forms of English, when the pronoun thou was in active use, and verbs used -est for distinct second-person singular indicative forms, the verb ask had the form askest, and had askedst for its past tense.
- Similarly, when the ending -eth was in active use for third-person singular present indicative forms, the form asketh was used.
- beg, beseech, demand, enquire, entreat, frain, implore, interrogate, petition, prompt, query, question, request, solicit, supplicate
- ask after
- ask around
- ask box
- ask for
- ask for it
- ask for someone's hand in marriage
- ask for the moon
- ask for trouble
- ask how high when someone says jump
- ask in
- asking for a friend
- ask me one about sport
- ask me one on sport
- ask my arse
- ask out
- ask over
- ask round
- ask the question
- don't ask
- don't ask me
- for the asking
- I ask you
- if you ask me
- I thought you'd never ask
- it's better to ask forgiveness than permission
- it's easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission
- never ask the barber if you need a haircut
- no questions asked
- shoot first and ask questions later
- who's asking
ask (plural asks)
- An act or instance of asking.
- 2005, Laura Fredricks, The ask:
- To ask for a gift is a privilege, a wonderful expression of commitment to and ownership of the organization. Getting a yes to an ask can be a rush, but asking for the gift can and should be just as rewarding.
- 2022 December 14, Christian Wolmar, “No Marston Vale line trains... and no one in charge seems to 'give a damn'”, in RAIL, number 972, page 46:
- That really does not seem much of an ask.
- Something asked or asked for.
- Synonym: request
- I know this is a big ask, but …
- 2008, Doug Fields; Duffy Robbins, Speaking to Teenagers:
- Communication researchers call this the foot-in-the-door syndrome. Essentially it's based on the observation that people who respond positively to a small “ask” are more likely to respond to a bigger “ask” later on.
- An asking price.
- (Internet) A message sent to a blog on social networking platform Tumblr, which can be publicly posted and replied to by the recipient.
- 2017, Abigail Oakley, “Supporting one another: Nonbinary community building on Tumblr”, in Isabel K. Düsterhöft; Paul G. Nixon, editor, Sex in the Digital Age, unnumbered page:
- Answering 'asks' like this is one common way that Tumblr bloggers interact with their followers, so it is in the act of publicly answering these asks that I examine community building practices.
- 2018, Lynette Kvasny; Fay Cobb Payton, “African American Youth Tumbling Toward Mental Health Support-Seeking and Positive Academic Outcomes”, in Amanda Ochsner; William G. Tierney; Zoë B. Corwin, editor, Diversifying Digital Learning: Online Literacy and Educational Opportunity, page 168:
- The following example from Black Mental Health illustrates an ask from an anonymous follower seeking social support: […]
- 2020, Lee Brown, “Behind the Scenes of a Popular Trans Youth Resources Tumblr”, in Alexander Cho; Allison McCracken; Indira N. Hoch; Louisa Stein, editor, A Tumblr Book: Platforms and Cultures, page 265:
- Once the number of unanswered Asks in the inbox was over eight thousand, despite us deleting everything accumulated in the inbox once a year.
- For more quotations using this term, see Citations:ask.
From Middle English aske, arske, ascre, from Old English āþexe (“lizard, newt”), from Proto-West Germanic *agiþahsijā (“lizard”), a compound of *agiz (“snake, lizard”) + *þahsuz (“badger”). Cognate of German Echse (“lizard”).
ask (plural asks)
- (UK dialectal and Scotland) An eft; newt.
- 1876, S. Smiles, Scottish Naturalist:
- He looked at the beast. It was not an eel. It was very like an ask.
- (UK dialectal) A lizard.
- 1951, Malcolm Arthur Smith, The British Amphibians & Reptiles, page 258:
- We hear of Adder dens, but detailed accounts of the discovery of one are very rare. Service (1902) records that a peatman, when levelling on an estate by the Solway, found in a hole in the ground, some 8 inches below the surface, 40 adders, 10 toads and a large number of asks (lizards).
From Old Norse askr, from Proto-Germanic *askaz.
ask c (singular definite asken, plural indefinite aske)
- ash tree (Fraxinus spp.), especially, common ash (tree, Fraxinus excelsior)
- “ask” in Den Danske Ordbog
- askur m
From Old Norse askr, from Proto-Germanic *askaz, *askiz.
ask f (genitive singular askar, plural askir)
|Declension of ask|
Ultimately derived from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eḱ-. Confer Persian آهو (âhu).
ask f (Arabic spelling ئاسک)
- Chyet, Michael L. (2020), “ask”, in Ferhenga Birûskî: Kurmanji–English Dictionary (Language Series; 1), volume 1, London: Transnational Press, page 14
From Old Norse askr, from Proto-Germanic *askaz.
ask m (definite singular asken, indefinite plural asker, definite plural askene)
- “ask” in The Bokmål Dictionary.
From Old Norse askr, from Proto-Germanic *askaz. Akin to English ash.
ask m (definite singular asken, indefinite plural askar, definite plural askane)
- “ask” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.
From Proto-West Germanic *ask.
From Old Swedish asker, from Old Norse askr, from Proto-Germanic *askaz, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ōs- (“ash”).
- European ash (tree) Fraxinus excelsior
- a small box (with a loose lid)
|Declension of ask|
- → Finnish: aski
- ask in Svensk ordbok.
- English 1-syllable words
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- Rhymes:English/æsk/1 syllable
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- da:Olive family plants
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- fo:Olive family plants
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- Northern Kurdish terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
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- Norwegian Bokmål terms inherited from Old Norse
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- nb:Olive family plants
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- nn:Olive family plants
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- Old Saxon terms derived from Proto-Germanic
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- osx:Olive family plants
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- sv:Olive family plants