ask

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See also: Ask, ASK, and aşk

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • aks, ax (standard until about 1600, now dialectal and no longer standard)

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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), German eischen.

Verb[edit]

ask (third-person singular simple present asks, present participle asking, simple past and past participle asked)

  1. (transitive or ditransitive) To request (information, or an answer to a question).
    I asked her age.
    I asked her (for) her age.
  2. To put forward (a question) to be answered.
    to ask a question
  3. To interrogate or enquire of (a person).
    I'm going to ask this lady for directions.
  4. 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.
  5. To request permission to do something.
    She asked to see the doctor.
    Did you ask to use the car?
  6. 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 1051505315:
      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.
  7. To invite.
    Don't ask them to the wedding.
  8. To publish in church for marriage; said of both the banns and the persons.
  9. (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.
Usage notes[edit]
  • 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).
  • 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.
Hyponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

ask (plural asks)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. An asking price.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English aske, arske, 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).

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

ask (plural asks)

  1. (Britain 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.
  2. (Britain 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).

Anagrams[edit]


Danish[edit]

Danish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia da

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse askr, from Proto-Germanic *askaz.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ask c (singular definite asken, plural indefinite aske)

  1. common ash (tree, Fraxinus excelsior)

Declension[edit]

References[edit]


Faroese[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse askr, from Proto-Germanic *askaz, *askiz.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ask f (genitive singular askar, plural askir)

  1. ash tree
  2. ash wood

Declension[edit]

Declension of ask
f2 singular plural
indefinite definite indefinite definite
nominative ask askin askir askirnar
accusative ask askina askir askirnar
dative ask askini askum askunum
genitive askar askarinnar aska askanna

Icelandic[edit]

Noun[edit]

ask

  1. indefinite accusative singular of askur

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Norwegian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia no

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse askr, from Proto-Germanic *askaz.

Noun[edit]

ask m (definite singular asken, indefinite plural asker, definite plural askene)

  1. the European ash (ash tree) Fraxinus excelsior

References[edit]


Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Norwegian Nynorsk Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nn

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse askr, from Proto-Germanic *askaz. Akin to English ash.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ask m (definite singular asken, indefinite plural askar, definite plural askane)

  1. the European ash (ash tree) Fraxinus excelsior

References[edit]


Old Saxon[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *askaz, *askiz.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ask m

  1. ash tree
  2. spear

Declension[edit]


Descendants[edit]

  • Middle Low German: esk

Swedish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Swedish asker, from Old Norse askr, from Proto-Germanic *askaz, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ōs- (ash).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ask c

  1. the European ash (tree) Fraxinus excelsior
  2. a small box
    Synonyms: låda, skrin

Declension[edit]

Declension of ask 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative ask asken askar askarna
Genitive asks askens askars askarnas

Descendants[edit]

Anagrams[edit]