Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “ask”

ask

verb
 
 
/ɑːsk/
QUESTION [I, T] A1 to say something to someone as a question that you want them to answer: [+ two objects] Can I ask you a few questions? I asked him about his hobbies. [+ question word] I asked why the plane was so late.Questioning people and asking questions in generalCuriositySuspecting and questioning
WANT SOMETHING [I, T] B1 to say something to someone because you want them to give you something: He's asked for a bike for his birthday.Making appeals and requests
REQUEST [I, T] B1 to say something to someone because you want them to do something: [+ to do sth] They've asked me to look after their dog while they're away.Making appeals and requests
INVITE [T] A2 to invite someone to do something: She asked him out to lunch the next day.Inviting and summoning
WANT PERMISSION [I, T] B1 to say something to someone because you want to know if you can do something: Bruce asked if he could stay with us for a few days. [+ to do sth] She asked to leave early.Making appeals and requests
PRICE [T] to want a particular amount of money for something that you sell: How much are you asking for it?Buying and selling in general
ask yourself sth to think about something carefully: You've got to ask yourself whether it's what you really want.Thinking and contemplating
ask for it/trouble informal to behave in a way that is likely to make something unpleasant happen to you or to cause you problems: His wife left him, but it seems to me he was asking for it. Drinking and driving is asking for trouble.Behaving in a silly wayCausing difficulties for oneself or others
don't ask me informal B2 used to tell someone that you do not know the answer to a question and that you are surprised they have asked you: Don't ask me why you left your last job!Questioning people and asking questions in generalCuriositySuspecting and questioning
you may well ask said to someone who has asked you a question that would be difficult or interesting to answerQuestioning people and asking questions in generalCuriositySuspecting and questioning
(Definition of ask from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “ask” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

look on the bright side

to find good things in a bad situation

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More