Essential Meaning of ask
1 : to say or write something to someone as a way of gaining information : to request an answer to a question I need to ask a question. I need to ask you a question. = (less commonly) I need to ask a question of you. See More ExamplesAre there any questions you would like to ask (me)? Did you ask her yet? "Have you seen the movie yet?" he asked. a list of frequently asked questions "If you don't mind me/my asking, how old are you?" "I'm 35 years old. Why do you ask?" Please don't ask again. "Do they have any soda?" "I don't know. I'll go ask."
2 : to tell someone in the form of a question that you want to be given something or that you want something to happen : to request something If you want something to drink, just ask. [=just tell me that you want something to drink] I would have given it to him, but he never asked. See More ExamplesWe had to stop and ask directions. May I ask the time? Did you ask permission to leave? She asked their forgiveness.
3 : to invite (someone) to go somewhere or do something He's asking just a few friends to the party. I asked him to lunch. They asked me over for dinner.
Full Definition of ask
(Entry 1 of 2)
1a : to call on for an answer She asked him about his trip.
b : to put a question about asking her opinion
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 itask for trouble
: 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
: 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
Definition of ask (Entry 2 of 2)
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
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