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 opinion>c :  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.>

Seen and Heard

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possibly but not certainly

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