Meaning of “ask” in the English Dictionary

"ask" in English

See all translations


uk /ɑːsk/ us /æsk/

ask verb (QUESTION)

B1 [ I or T ] to put a question to someone, or to request an answer from someone:

[ + two objects ] She asked me a question.
She asked a question about Welsh history.
She asked me about Welsh history.
She asked about Welsh history.
[ + question word ] I've no idea what time the train leaves. Ask the guard whether he knows.
I asked the guard the time of the train's departure.
I asked when the train would leave.
[ + speech ] "What time does the train leave?" I asked.
ask yourself sth

C2 to consider something carefully:

She needs to ask herself why nobody seems to like her.

More examples

ask verb (REQUEST)

B1 [ I or T ] to speak or write to someone saying that you want them to do something, to give you something, or to allow you to do something:

If you need any help, please don't hesitate to ask.
She asked (her manager) if/whether she could leave early to pick up the kids.
I asked to see my accountant.
You should ask (your accountant) for some financial advice.
[ + to infinitive ] You should ask your accountant to give you some financial advice.
Can I ask you a favour?/formal Can I ask a favour of you?
I'd like to ask your advice/opinion on a financial matter.
You have to ask permission to leave.
formal We ask that any faulty goods be returned in their original packaging.
[ + that ] formal The solicitor asked that her client be allowed to make a phone call.

ask verb (INVITE)

A2 [ T ] to request or invite someone to go somewhere with you or to come to your home:

UK I've asked David to the party.
[ + to infinitive ] US I've asked David to come to the party.
"Are you going to Muriel's party?" "No, I haven't been asked."
Jorge has asked us over for dinner next Friday.
UK Ian's asked us round to/for dinner next Friday.
In fact they've asked us to stay for the whole weekend.

More examples

ask verb (EXPECT)

[ T ] to expect or demand something:

Greg's asking (= expecting to be paid) £250,000 for his house.
He asks too much of me - I can't always be there to help him.
It's asking a lot when your boss wants you to work weekends as well as evenings.

More examples

(Definition of “ask” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"ask" in American English

See all translations


us /æsk/


[ I/T ] to state a question to someone, or to request something from someone:

[ T ] Can I ask you a question?
[ T ] If you are asking me if I was foolish, yes, I was foolish.
[ + question word ] We kept asking why he had done it.
[ + question word ] He asked how much the necklace cost.
[ I ] He asked for more time to repay the loan.
[ T ] You should ask your lawyer for advice.
[ T ] I’d like to ask your advice on a financial matter.
"How much time do we have left?" he asked.
[ I ] Our neighbors are selling their house, but I don’t know how much they’re asking for it (= how much they want for it).

ask verb (INVITE)

[ T ] to invite someone to go somewhere:

"Are you going to Michelle’s party?" "No, I haven’t been asked."
Megan’s asked us over for dinner next Friday.

(Definition of “ask” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"ask" in Business English

See all translations

askverb [ T ]

uk /ɑːsk/ us

to state the price that you want for something that you are selling:

ask sth for sth What is he asking for his share of the business?
ask sb for interview

HR to ask someone to come and see you so that you can give them an interview for a job:

Of the 150 candidates, we asked six for interview.
ask sb to leave

HR to make someone leave their job:

be asked to leave They said I had breached confidentiality rules, and I was asked to leave.
See also

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “ask” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)