Definition of ask
askedplay \ˈas(k)t, ˈäs(k)t, ˈask; dialectal ˈakst\;
2a : to make a request of She asked her teacher for help.b : to make a request for She asked help from her teacher.
3 : to call for : require a challenge that will ask much of us
4 : to set as a price asked $3000 for the car
5 : invite She asked a few friends to the party.
1 : to seek information ask for her address
2 : to make a request asked for food
ask for it
: to behave in a way that invites punishment or retribution Experts used to think that battered women were “asking for it”—somehow masochistically provoking abuse from their men. Mercifully, that idea has now been discredited. — Michele Ingrassia
ask for trouble
Recent Examples of ask from the Web
The Enquirer/Cindi Andrews Earlier this week Cincinnati.com asked readers where Hamilton County should spend its money.
To protect vulnerable lawmakers, party leaders rarely ask rank-and-file members to take tough votes on bills that don’t have a good chance of becoming law.
Asked about the measure, Mitchell said the police department would welcome any ordinance that helps them do their jobs.
Families can check out the new Dino Island exhibit, the music room and other interactive fun for free though the Target program from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday, but they are asked to leave strollers at home.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 704-432-8477 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.
Next, you're asked to place a bite-block at the back of your jaw, which keeps your mouth open during the process.
Fuller asked the judge to bar prosecutors from using the notes at trial, but the judge said that was too severe.
To understand that reality, TIME asked a number of photographers to select an image from their archive that particularly impacted them, and then to write about its significance.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ask.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of ask
Middle English, from Old English āscian; akin to Old High German eiscōn to ask, Lithuanian ieškoti to seek, Sanskrit icchati he seeks
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of ask
ask, request, solicit mean to seek to obtain by making one's wants known. ask implies no more than the statement of the desire. ask a favor of a friend request implies greater formality and courtesy. requests the pleasure of your company solicit suggests a calling attention to one's wants or desires by public announcement or advertisement. a letter soliciting information
Definition of ask
chiefly British, informal
: something asked for, requested, or required of someone —used especially in phrases like a big ask and a tough ask to say that what is being asked for or hoped for is difficult or unlikely It's a big ask, I think, demanding audiences recall a plot from two years ago, and while normally I don't mind a big ask … this particular ask utterly defeated me. — Deborah Ross
ASK Defined for Kids
Definition of ask for Students
1 : to seek information by posing a question She asked if I was worried. They asked about our trip.
2 : to make a request Did you ask for help?
3 : to set as a price I'm asking ten dollars for my skates.
4 : invite 2 I asked some friends to my party.
5 : to behave as if seeking a result You're asking for trouble.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up ask? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).