verb \ˈask, ˈäsk; dialectal ˈaks\

Definition of ask


play \ˈas(k)t, ˈäs(k)t, ˈask; dialectal ˈakst\;


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to call on for an answer She asked him about his trip.b :  to put a question about asking her opinionc :  speak, utter ask a question

  3. 2a :  to make a request of She asked her teacher for help.b :  to make a request for She asked help from her teacher.

  4. 3 :  to call for :  require a challenge that will ask much of us

  5. 4 :  to set as a price asked $3000 for the car

  6. 5 :  invite She asked a few friends to the party.

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 :  to seek information ask for her address

  9. 2 :  to make a request asked for food



ask for it


  1. :  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


  1. :  to behave in a way that is likely to result in trouble … you are asking for trouble if you try to lift too much weight … — Douglas Jeffrey

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 century

Synonym Discussion of ask

ask, question, interrogate, query, inquire mean to address a person in order to gain information. ask implies no more than the putting of a question. ask for directions question usually suggests the asking of series of questions. questioned them about every detail of the trip interrogate suggests formal or official systematic questioning. the prosecutor interrogated the witness all day query implies a desire for authoritative information or confirmation. queried a librarian about the book inquire implies a searching for facts or for truth often specifically by asking questions. began to inquire of friends and teachers what career she should pursue

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

  1. :  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

Origin and Etymology of ask

noun derivative of 1ask

First Known Use: 13th century

ASK Defined for Kids


verb \ˈask\

Definition of ask for Students




  1. 1 :  to seek information by posing a question She asked if I was worried. They asked about our trip.

  2. 2 :  to make a request Did you ask for help?

  3. 3 :  to set as a price I'm asking ten dollars for my skates.

  4. 4 :  invite 2 I asked some friends to my party.

  5. 5 :  to behave as if seeking a result You're asking for trouble.

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