From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishaskask1 /ɑːsk $ æsk/ ●●● S1 W1 verb 1 ASK A QUESTIONquestion [intransitive, transitive] 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. That kid’s always asking awkward questions.ask who/what/where etc I asked him where he lived.ask somebody something We’ll have to ask someone the way to the station.ask somebody if/whether Go and ask Tom whether he’s coming tonight.ask (somebody) about something 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 ASK FOR something/ASK somebody TO DO somethingfor help/advice etc [intransitive, transitive] to make a request for help, advice, information etc If you need anything, you only have to ask.ask somebody to do something Ask John to mail those letters tomorrow.ask to do something Karen asked to see the doctor.ask for Some people find it difficult to ask for help.ask somebody for something He repeatedly asked Bailey for the report.ask (somebody) if/whether you can do something Ask your mom if you can come with us.ask that Was it too much to ask that he be allowed some privacy?3 SELLprice [transitive] to want a particular amount of money for something you are selling How much is he asking?ask $50/$1,000 etc for something He’s asking £2,000 for his car. They’re asking a fortune for that house.4 invite [transitive usually + adverb/preposition] to invite someone to your home, to go out with you etcask somebody to do something Let’s ask them to have dinner with us some time.ask somebody 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 somebody in (=invite someone into your house, office etc) Don’t leave them standing on the doorstep – ask them in!ask somebody over/round (=invite someone to come to your home) We must ask our new neighbours over for a drink.5 demand [transitive] 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 something of somebody 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 I/you can’t/couldn’t ask for a better something 7 be asking for trouble8 ask yourself somethingSPOKEN PHRASES9 if you ask me10 don’t ask me11 don’t ask12 be asking for it13 be somebody’s for the asking ask after somebody ask for somebodyGRAMMAR: Patterns with askYou ask someone something: They asked me some difficult questions at the interview. Don’t say: ask to someoneYou ask someone to do something: I asked him to open the window.You ask someone if or whether something is true: Ask them if they want anything to drink.When you report what someone asked, use a verb in the past tense: She asked if I wanted to go. Don’t say: She asked if I want to go.COLLOCATIONSMeaning 2: to make a request for help, advice, information etcnounsask for helpDon’t be afraid to ask for help.ask for assistance (=help or support)You can call this number to ask for assistance.ask for advice/ask somebody’s adviceIf you are in any doubt, ask for advice.ask for informationI wrote asking for information about language classes.ask for directions (=instructions how to get from one place to another)At the station he asked for directions to the museum.ask for detailsPlease ask for details of the full range of tickets available.ask for somebody’s opinionDad always liked being asked for his opinion.ask for somebody’s supportLabour councillors asked for our support for the proposal.ask for permissionThe two men entered without bothering to ask for permission.ask for an explanationWhen he asked for an explanation, no one could give him an answer. THESAURUS ask a questionask to speak or write to someone to get an answerDid you ask about the price?They asked me a lot of questions.inquire/enquire /ɪnˈkwaɪə $ -ˈkwaɪr/ formal to ask someone for information about somethingI’m writing to inquire about the job that was advertised in yesterday’s ‘Times’.demand especially written to ask a question in a firm or angry way‘Why didn’t you call me?’, she demanded.interview to ask someone questions, to find out if they are suitable for a job, or as part of a television or radio interviewWhen they interviewed me for the job, they didn’t mention the salary.David Letterman has interviewed all the stars.poll to officially ask a lot of people in order to find out their opinion on somethingOver 1,000 people were polled for the report.64% of the people we polled said that they approved of the way the government had handled the ask someone about a crimequestion/interview to ask someone a lot of questions in order to get information about a crimeHe was arrested and questioned by the police.Detectives are interviewing the father of the missing girl. interrogate to ask someone a lot of detailed questions, often in an aggressive wayThe men were interrogated by the US authorities for over six hours.cross-examine to ask someone questions in court about the statements they madeA second lawyer began to cross-examine the witness.somebody is helping the police with their inquiries formal used in news reports when saying that the police are asking someone questions about a crime – especially when they think this person is guilty, but have not yet charged themHe is helping the police with their inquiries in connection with the murder of Diane Jones. to ask for somethingask for to tell someone you want them to give you somethingI’m going to ask for a pay rise.order to ask for food or drink in a restaurantWe ordered some more coffee.Have you ordered yet?demand to ask for something in a firm way, insisting that someone gives you what you ask forThey’re demanding immediate payment.If the goods are faulty, you can demand a refund.request formal to ask for somethingThe pilot requested permission to land.I enclose the information you requested.beg/plead to ask for something in an urgent way, because you want it very much and will be very unhappy if you do not get itHe begged me for some money.I’m not going to plead for forgiveness.nag/pester to keep asking someone for something, in an annoying wayShe keeps nagging me for a new phone.People were pestering him for his autograph. → See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
ask``What's your name?'' she asked.If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask.Todd just went to the fridge and helped himself to a beer, without even asking.So what's new, it might be asked.If you ever need any help with anything, you only have to ask.Another asked about the original Katharine Branson.A lot of people don't like asking for help.She might be willing to babysit, but you won't know till you ask her.He can't pay the rent, but he still doesn't want to ask his parents for money.I've asked Mary to water the plants for me while I'm away.I was a little surprised when he asked me if I was married.Letty's been asking me if she can take the dog out for a walk.What should I tell people if they ask me why you didn't come to the party?It will ask my modem to resend the entire block.All I've ever asked of you is to try to be polite to my mother.At the end of the presentation you'll all have a chance to ask questions.The man on the phone wasn't very helpful, so I asked to speak with the manager.It is bad enough when people are asked to work long hours.They'll probably just ask you about your education and work experience.Those with goods stacked outside might leave a note asking you to slide money into the mail slot should you take anything.For information about the new drug, ask your doctor.ask aroundEverybody has a favorite restaurant, so ask around.I'm not sure where you can find a babysitter - I'll ask around.Stephen's been asking around about the best places to go in the evenings.ask thatPerhaps we should begin by asking that?Kobert also asked that a trustee be appointed to take control of the company.The panel could also ask that Gingrich be fined and that his case be referred to the Justice Department.It ends exactly at 8.30, as the candidate had asked that it should.The chief asked that the sessions be open to the public.Imagine asking that they close the door on me so I can see what it feels like.Letters have been sent out to all parents asking that they keep their children away from other nurseries while tests are carried out.So many things you refrain from asking that you'd love to know.ask somebody outWhy don't you ask her out? Or are you too shy?You asked her out? What did she say?
askask2 noun a big ask
Examples from the Corpus
askA questioner in the studio audience asked the Labour MP to defend his party's recent statement.
From King Business Dictionaryaskask /ɑːskæsk/ verb [transitive]1if someone is asking a particular price for something, that is the price at which they are selling itask something for somethingHow much are they asking for their house?2ask somebody to leave British English to make someone leave their jobSYNdismissThe previous manager was asked to leave, after it was found that he had been misusing company funds.→ See Verb tableOrigin ask Old English ascian