ask1 W1S1 [a:sk US æsk] v
2¦(for help/advice etc)¦
6 be asking for trouble
7 ask yourself something
8 if you ask me
9 don't ask me
10 don't ask
11 be asking for it
12 be somebody's for the asking
Phrasal verbs
 ask after somebody
 ask for somebody
[: Old English; Origin: ascian]
1.) ¦(QUESTION)¦ [I and T]
to speak or write to someone in order to get an answer, information, or a solution
'What's your name?' she asked.
Don't ask him - he won't know anything about it.
That kid's always asking awkward questions .
ask who/what/where etc
I just asked him where he lived.
ask sb sth
We'll have to ask someone the way to the station.
ask sb if/whether
Go and ask Tom whether he's coming tonight.
ask (sb) about sth
Visitors usually ask about the history of the castle.
ask around
(=ask in a lot of places or ask a lot of people)
I'll ask around, see if I can find you a place to stay.
2.) ¦(FOR HELP/ADVICE ETC)¦ [I and T]
to make a request for help, advice, information etc
If you need anything, you only have to ask.
ask sb to do sth
Ask John to mail those letters tomorrow.
ask to do sth
Karen asked to see the doctor.
ask for
Some people find it difficult to ask for help.
ask sb for sth
He repeatedly asked Bailey for the report.
ask (sb) if/whether you can do sth
Ask your mom if you can come with us.
ask that
Was it too much to ask that he be allowed some privacy?
3.) ¦(PRICE)¦ [T]
to want a particular amount of money for something you are selling
How much is he asking?
ask $50/$1,000 etc for sth
He's asking £2,000 for his car.
They're asking a fortune for that house.
4.) ¦(INVITE)¦ [T usually + adverb/preposition]
to invite someone to your home, to go out with you etc
ask sb to do sth
Let's ask them to have dinner with us some time.
ask sb out
(=ask someone, especially someone of the opposite sex, to go to a film, a restaurant etc with you)
Jerry's too scared to ask her out.
ask sb in
(=invite someone into your house, office etc)
Don't leave them standing on the doorstep - ask them in!
ask sb over/round
(=invite someone to come to your home)
We must ask our new neighbours over for a drink.
5.) ¦(DEMAND)¦ [T]
if you ask something of someone, you want them to do it for you
It would be better if he cooperated, but perhaps I'm asking too much.
ask sth of sb
You have no right to ask anything of me.
Expecting the children to do an hour's homework after school is asking a lot of them.
6.) be asking for trouble
to do something that is very likely to have a bad effect or result
Saying that to a feminist is just asking for trouble.
7.) ask yourself sth
to think carefully and honestly about something
You have to ask yourself where your responsibilities really lie.
8.) spoken if you ask me
used to emphasize your own opinion
He's just plain crazy, if you ask me.
9.) spoken don't ask me
used to say you do not know the answer to something
'Where's she gone then?' 'Don't ask me!'
10.) spoken don't ask
used to say that something is too embarrassing or strange to explain
'What was that woman selling?' 'Don't ask.'
11.) spoken be asking for it
used to say that someone deserves something bad that happens to them
It's his own fault he got hit - he was asking for it.
12.) be sb's for the asking informal
if something is yours for the asking, you can have it if you want it
The job was hers for the asking.
ask after [ask after sb] phr v
if you ask after someone, you want to know whether they are well, what they are doing etc
I spoke to James today. He was asking after you.
ask for [ask for sb] phr v
if you ask for someone, you want to speak to them
There's someone at the door asking for Dad.
WORD FOCUS: words meaning ask
request to officially ask for something
consult to ask someone for advice
demand to ask for something very forcefully
nag/pester to keep asking for something many times, in an annoying way
beg/plead to ask for something in an anxious or urgent way, because you want it very much
question/interrogate to ask someone questions - used especially about the police or the army
grill (informal) to ask someone a lot of difficult questions
cross-examine to ask someone questions in court - used about lawyers
poll to ask a lot of people for their opinion about something
ask 2
ask2 n
a big ask
a situation in a sports competition when someone needs to get a lot of points or do something very difficult in order to win
We need to win the next three games. It's a big ask, but I'm confident we can do it.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

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