What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[uh-skans] /əˈskæns/
with suspicion, mistrust, or disapproval:
He looked askance at my offer.
with a side glance; sidewise; obliquely.
Also, askant
[uh-skant] /əˈskænt/ (Show IPA)
Origin of askance
1520-30; earlier a scanche, a sca(u)nce; of obscure origin
1. skeptically, suspiciously. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for askance
  • Many parents look askance at flavored milk, concerned that the last thing their children need is more sugar.
  • Nobody will look askance at presses that get half of their scholarly output from local faculty members.
  • But regulators seem to be looking askance at these claims.
  • Until this is accomplished schemes for refinements of our monetary system must be looked at askance.
  • Although many locals welcome the new project, some still look askance at its implications.
  • Some prospective employers look askance at sorority networking.
  • The world is not awash in conjugal shows, but they are no longer looked at askance.
  • But even he looked askance as he was put on a gurney and a technician hooked him up to a defibrillator in case his heart stopped.
  • All that has many people looking askance at the eggs in the supermarket and wondering what is safe.
  • Every sentence he writes either looks at itself askance or ushers in a following sentence that will perform the task.
British Dictionary definitions for askance


with an oblique glance
with doubt or mistrust
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for askance

1520s, "sideways, asquint," of obscure origin. OED has separate listings for askance and obsolete Middle English askance(s) and no indication of a connection, but Barnhart and others derive the newer word from the older one. The Middle English word, recorded early 14c. as ase quances and found later in Chaucer, meant "in such a way that; even as; as if;" and as an adverb "insincerely, deceptively." It has been analyzed as a compound of as and Old French quanses (pronounced "kanses") "how if," from Latin quam "how" + si "if."

The E[nglish] as is, accordingly, redundant, and merely added by way of partial explanation. The M.E. askances means "as if" in other passages, but here means, "as if it were," i.e. "possibly," "perhaps"; as said above. Sometimes the final s is dropped .... [Walter W. Skeat, glossary to Chaucer's "Man of Law's Tale," 1894]
Also see discussion in Leo Spitzer, "Anglo-French Etymologies," Philological Quarterly 24.23 (1945), and see OED entry for askance (adv.) for discussion of the mysterious ask- word cluster in English. Other guesses about the origin of askance include Old French a escone, from past participle of a word for "hidden;" Italian a scancio "obliquely, slantingly;" or that it is a cognate of askew.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with askance


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for askance

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for askance

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with askance

Nearby words for askance