What does ask mean?

Definitions for ask
æsk, ɑskask

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word ask.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ask, inquire, enquireverb

    inquire about

    "I asked about their special today"; "He had to ask directions several times"

  2. askverb

    make a request or demand for something to somebody

    "She asked him for a loan"

  3. askverb

    direct or put; seek an answer to

    "ask a question"

  4. ask, require, expectverb

    consider obligatory; request and expect

    "We require our secretary to be on time"; "Aren't we asking too much of these children?"; "I expect my students to arrive in time for their lessons"

  5. askverb

    address a question to and expect an answer from

    "Ask your teacher about trigonometry"; "The children asked me about their dead grandmother"

  6. necessitate, ask, postulate, need, require, take, involve, call for, demandverb

    require as useful, just, or proper

    "It takes nerve to do what she did"; "success usually requires hard work"; "This job asks a lot of patience and skill"; "This position demands a lot of personal sacrifice"; "This dinner calls for a spectacular dessert"; "This intervention does not postulate a patient's consent"

  7. askverb

    require or ask for as a price or condition

    "He is asking $200 for the table"; "The kidnappers are asking a million dollars in return for the release of their hostage"


  1. Asknoun

    The first male human, according to the Poetic Edda.

  2. Etymology: From asken, from axian, ascian, from aiskōnan, from ayǝs-. Cognate with easkje, eisen, heischen, æske, äska, искать.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Ask Ash As

    Etymology: do all come from the Saxon æsc , an ash tree. Edmund Gibson Camden.

  2. To Askverb

    Etymology: ascian, Saxon.

    When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down,
    And ask of thee forgiveness. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    We have nothing else to ask, but that
    Which you deny already: yet will ask,
    That, if we fail in our request, the blame
    May hang upon your hardness. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    My son, hast thou sinned? do so no more, but ask pardon for thy former sins. Ecclus, xxi. 1.

    If he ask for bread, will he give him a stone? Matt. vii. 9.

    In long journies, ask your master leave to give ale to the horses. Jonathan Swift.

    Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife. Gen. xxxiv. 12.

    He saw his friends, who, whelm’d beneath the waves,
    Their funeral honours claim’d, and ask’d their quiet graves. John Dryden, Æneid.

    Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jerem. vi. 16.

    For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it. Deut. iv. 32.

    O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way and espy, ask him that flieth, and her that escapeth, and say, what is done? Jeremiah, xlviii. 19.

    He said, wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?
    And he blessed him there. Genesis, xxxii. 29.

    A lump of ore in the bottom of a mine will be stirred by two men’s strength; which, if you bring it to the top of the earth, will ask six men to stir it. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    The administration passes into different hands at the end of two months, which contributes to dispatch: but any exigence of state asks a much longer time to conduct any design to its maturity. Joseph Addison, Rem. on Italy.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Askverb

    to request; to seek to obtain by words; to petition; to solicit; -- often with of, in the sense of from, before the person addressed

  2. Askverb

    to require, demand, claim, or expect, whether by way of remuneration or return, or as a matter of necessity; as, what price do you ask?

  3. Askverb

    to interrogate or inquire of or concerning; to put a question to or about; to question

  4. Askverb

    to invite; as, to ask one to an entertainment

  5. Askverb

    to publish in church for marriage; -- said of both the banns and the persons

  6. Askverb

    to request or petition; -- usually followed by for; as, to ask for bread

  7. Askverb

    to make inquiry, or seek by request; -- sometimes followed by after

  8. Asknoun

    a water newt

  9. Etymology: [See 2d Asker.]


  1. Ask

    "Ask" is a song by The Smiths. It was released as a single in October 1986, reaching #14 in the UK Singles Chart. As with most of The Smiths' singles, it was not included on an original album. It can be found on the compilations The World Won't Listen and Louder Than Bombs as well as the live album Rank, where it is introduced as the band's new single. The UK cover shows Yootha Joyce who starred in the UK television series George & Mildred. The song features Kirsty MacColl on backing vocals. There are two versions of this song. The version that appears on the single releases and the album The Very Best of The Smiths fades out slightly sooner and has the vocal track lasting until the end of the song. The backing vocals in this version are also mixed differently and are louder. The version that appears on all albums fades out later and has the vocal track ending before the fade begins. Craig Gannon, one-time rhythm guitarist for The Smiths has stated that he came up with some of the guitar part for "Ask" during his short stint as a member of the band: A music video was made for the song. It appears in The Smiths: The Complete Picture.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ask

    ask, v.t. to seek: to request, inquire, beg, question, invite.—v.i. to request: to make inquiry (with about and for—as to ask one after or for another). [A.S. áscian, ácsian; Ger. heischen, Ice. æskja, Sans. esh, to desire.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. ask

    A name of the water-newt.

Editors Contribution

  1. ask

    To inquire.

    They did ask for the day's holidays to be approved so they could have a long weekend with their daughter.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 20, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. ask

    Song lyrics by ask -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by ask on the Lyrics.com website.

  2. ASK

    What does ASK stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the ASK acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'ask' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #586

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'ask' in Written Corpus Frequency: #275

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'ask' in Verbs Frequency: #35

Anagrams for ask »

  1. aks

  2. ska

  3. sak

How to pronounce ask?

How to say ask in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ask in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ask in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of ask in a Sentence

  1. Rudy Giuliani:

    You'd have to ask John exactly what he's relying on for that, i would not go that far.

  2. Loretta Lynch:

    To ask me to have my FBI director or other members of the administration make personal guarantees would effectively grind the program to a halt.

  3. Sirwan Barzani:

    We ask all the Canadians, and the Americans and the whole coalition and NATO, please send good weapons to us to fight against this biggest terrorist group in the world, we are fighting for all the world, for all civilization.

  4. Kirstjen Nielsen:

    Today I ask everyone to show leadership to stop the formation of the caravans that have brought crime, violence and instability to the region.

  5. George King:

    We have had people ask us about it....is it time to play for a positive bounce in Russia? Our answer is: it's a very dangerous game to play.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for ask

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