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ask / ask/ • v. 1. [tr.] say something in order to obtain an answer or some information: he asked if she wanted coffee people are always asking questions [intr.] the old man asked about her job. ∎  [intr.] (ask around) talk to various people in order to find something out: there are fine meals to be had if you ask around. ∎  [intr.] (ask after) inquire about the health or well-being of: Mrs. Savage asked after Iris's mother. 2. [tr.] request (someone) to do or give something: Mary asked her father for money [intr.] don't be afraid to ask for advice. ∎  request permission to do something: she asked if she could move in. ∎  [intr.] (ask for) request to speak to: when I arrived, I asked for Catherine. ∎  request (a specified amount) as a price for selling something: he was asking $250 for the guitar. ∎  expect or demand (something) of someone: it's asking a lot, but could you look through Billy's things? 3. [tr.] invite (someone) to one's home or a function: it's about time we asked Pam to dinner. ∎  (ask someone along) invite someone to join one on an outing. ∎  (ask someone out) invite someone out socially, typically on a date. • n. [in sing.] 1. a request, especially for a donation: an ask for more funding.2. the price at which an item, esp. a financial security, is offered for sale: [as adj.] ask prices for bonds. PHRASES: be asking for it (or trouble) inf. behave in a way that is likely to result in difficulty for oneself: they accused me of asking for it. don't ask me! inf. used to indicate that one does not know the answer to a question and that one is surprised or irritated to be questioned: “Is he her boyfriend then?” “Don't ask me!” for the asking used to indicate that something can be easily obtained: the job was his for the asking. if you ask me inf. used to emphasize that a statement is one's personal opinion: if you ask me, it's just an excuse for laziness.DERIVATIVES: ask·er n.

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ask ask a silly question and you get a silly answer saying recorded from Middle English, and often used dismissively to indicate that a question is irrelevant or foolish, undeserving of a considered reply. The original allusion was to Proverbs 26:5, ‘Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.’
ask no questions and hear no lies saying, recorded from the late 18th century, used as a warning against curiosity.

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ask OE. āscian, āxian = OS. ēscōn, OHG. eiscōn (G. heischen) :- WGmc. *aiskōjan. Rel. Skr. icchāti, OSl. iskati, Lith. ieškóti seek.