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askance

[uh-skans] /əˈskæns/
adverb
1.
with suspicion, mistrust, or disapproval:
He looked askance at my offer.
2.
with a side glance; sidewise; obliquely.
Also, askant
[uh-skant] /əˈskænt/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; earlier a scanche, a sca(u)nce; of obscure origin
Synonyms
1. skeptically, suspiciously.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for askant

askance

/əˈskæns/
adverb
1.
with an oblique glance
2.
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
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Word Origin and History for askant

askance

adv.

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
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Idioms and Phrases with askant

askance

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