ask for


[ask, ahsk]
verb (used with object)
to put a question to; inquire of: I asked him but he didn't answer.
to request information about: to ask the way.
to try to get by using words; request: to ask advice; to ask a favor.
to solicit from; request of: Could I ask you a favor? Ask her for advice.
to demand; expect: What price are they asking? A little silence is all I ask.
to set a price of: to ask $20 for the hat.
to call for; need; require: This experiment asks patience.
to invite: to ask guests to dinner.
Archaic. to publish (banns).
verb (used without object)
to make inquiry; inquire: to ask about a person.
to request or petition (usually followed by for ): to ask for leniency; to ask for food.
ask for it, to risk or invite trouble, danger, punishment, etc., by persisting in some action or manner: He was asking for it by his abusive remarks.

before 900; Middle English asken, axen, Old English āscian, āxian; cognate with Old Frisian āskia, Old Saxon ēscon, Old High German eiscōn (German heischen), Sanskrit icchati (he) seeks

asker, noun
unasking, adjective
unaskingly, adverb

acts, ask, axe.

1. question, interrogate. 3, 11. sue, appeal. 4. beseech, beg, entreat. 10. See inquire.

1, 10. answer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ask (ɑːsk)
vb (often foll by for)
1.  (often foll by about) to put a question (to); request an answer (from): she asked (him) about God
2.  (tr) to inquire about: she asked him the time of the train; she asked the way
3.  (tr) to direct or put (a question)
4.  to make a request or demand: she asked (him) for information; they asked for a deposit
5.  (tr) to demand or expect (esp in the phrases ask a lot of, ask too much of)
6.  (tr) ask out, Also: ask over to request (a person) politely to come or go to a place; invite: he asked her to the party
7.  (tr) to need; require: the job asks both time and patience
8.  archaic (tr) to proclaim (marriage banns)
9.  informal (Brit), (Austral), (NZ) a big ask, a tough ask a task which is difficult to fulfil
[Old English āscian; related to Old Frisian āskia, Old Saxon ēscon, Old High German eiscōn]

Ask (ɑːsk)
Norse myth the first man, created by the gods from an ash tree

ask after or (Scot) ask for
(preposition) to make inquiries about the health of (someone): he asked after her mother
ask for or (Scot) ask for

ask for
1.  to try to obtain by requesting: he asked for help
2.  informal (intr) to behave in a provocative manner that is regarded as inviting (trouble): she's asking for trouble; you're asking for it
3.  (Scot) to ask after: tell your parents I'm asking for them

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. ascian "ask," from earlier ahsian, from P.Gmc. *aiskojan (cf. O.S. escon, O.Fris. askia, M.Du. eiscen, O.H.G. eiscon, Ger. heischen "to ask, demand"), from PIE *ais- "to wish, desire" (cf. Skt. icchati "seeks, desires," Arm. aic "investigation," O.C.S. iskati "to seek," Lith. iekau "to seek"). Form
in Eng. infl. by a Scand. form of the word (cf. Dan. æske; the O.E. would have evolved by normal sound changes into ash, esh, which was a Midlands and s.w. England dialect form). The variant in modern dialect ax is as old as O.E. acsian and was an accepted literary variant until c.1600. O.E. also had fregnan, frignan which carried more directly the sense of "question, inquire," and is from PIE root *prek-, the common source of words for "ask" in most I.E. languages. If you ask me "in my opinion" is attested from 1910.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

ask for

Also, ask for it. To persist in an action despite the likelihood that it will bring trouble on oneself, as in Speeding as much as he does, he has been asking for a ticket and Mary deserved that low grade; in effect, she asked for it by not studying. [c. 1900] Also see ask for the moon.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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