ask - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participleasking
past tenseasked
past participleasked
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to speak or write to someone in order to get information from them

    I wondered who had given her the ring but was afraid to ask.

    ask someone something:

    I asked him his name, but he didn’t answer.

    ask (someone) why/how/whether etc:

    She asked me how I knew about it.

    ask (someone) about something:

    Did you ask about the money?

    ask someone a question:

    The police wanted to ask us a few questions.

    ask yourself something (=consider it carefully):

    He ought to ask himself why nobody ever invites him.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to speak or write to someone because you want them to give you something

    If you need any help, just ask.

    ask (someone) for something:

    The children were asking for drinks.

    ask someone’s permission/advice/opinion etc:

    I think we’d better ask your mum’s opinion first.

    ask someone a favour:

    Can I ask you a favour?

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] to expect someone to do something or give you something
    ask something (for something):

    It’s a nice house, but they’re asking over half a million pounds.

    ask a lot/too much:

    It’s asking a lot of teenagers to expect them to see what’s wrong with consumerism.

    All I want is five minutespeace and quiet: is that asking too much?

    ask someone (not) to do something:

    We ask guests not to smoke in the hotel.

  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] to say that you want something to happen, or that you want someone else to do something
    ask someone (not) to do something:

    Then the computer will ask you to restart it.

    He asked us to join him.

    ask to do something:

    I asked to see the manager.

    ask (not) to be:

    The writer has asked not to be named.

    ask that someone (should) do something:

    The committee has asked that this scheme be stopped for now.

  5. 5
    [transitive] to invite someone to do something or go somewhere with you
    ask someone to something:

    How many people have you asked to the party?

    ask someone for something:

    We should ask them for a meal sometime.

    ask someone over/round (=to your house):

    The neighbours have asked us over for a drink.

    ask someone in (=ask someone to come into your house, room, office etc):

    We waited for half an hour before he asked us in.

    ask someone to do something:

    They asked me to stay the night.