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Alternative forms[edit]


Unknown. Possibly from Middle English askances (as if), or from Old French a escone (hidden) or Italian a scancio (obliquely). Compare asquint, Dutch schuin, schuins (sideways), schuiven (to shove), schuinte (slope).



askance (not comparable)

  1. (of a look or glance) With disapproval, skepticism, or suspicion.
    The beggar asked for change, but the haughty woman only looked at him askance.
    • 1932Clark Ashton Smith, The Maker of Gargoyles
      The scandal of opposition died down, and the stone-carver himself, though the town-folk continued to eye him askance, was able to secure other work through the favor of discriminating patrons.
    • Gladstone
      Both [] were viewed askance by authority.
    • Landor
      My palfrey eyed them askance.
  2. Sideways; obliquely.
    • 1896, H. G. Wells, chapter 8, in The Island of Doctor Moreau:
      I glanced askance at this strange creature, and found him watching me with his queer, restless eyes.
    • 1878, Henry James, chapter 1, in The Europeans:
      ...the head-stones in the grave-yard beneath seemed to be holding themselves askance to keep it out of their faces.




askance (not comparable)

  1. Turned to the side, especially of the eyes.