Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR ASKANT

Thereupon Mr B. looked at me askant out of his gipsy eyes, as if he thought me an example of the evils of female education!

Gerard pondered these simple words, and eyed her askant, carrying the child with perfect ease.

Captain Jackman, in these few moments of pause in the talk, seemed to make an askant study of the commander, who sat opposite.

She was desperately conscious of me, watching me askant with the curiously commingled fear and trustfulness of a child.

A few quiet tears followed these brave words, and Grace looked at her askant, and began to do her justice.

WORD ORIGIN

1520s, "sideways, asquint," of obscure origin. OED has separate listings for askance and obsolete Middle English askance(s) and no indication of a connection, but Barnhart and others derive the newer word from the older one. The Middle English word, recorded early 14c. as ase quances and found later in Chaucer, meant "in such a way that; even as; as if;" and as an adverb "insincerely, deceptively." It has been analyzed as a compound of as and Old French quanses (pronounced "kanses") "how if," from Latin quam "how" + si "if."

Also see discussion in Leo Spitzer, "Anglo-French Etymologies," Philological Quarterly 24.23 (1945), and see OED entry for askance (adv.) for discussion of the mysterious ask- word cluster in English. Other guesses about the origin of askance include Old French a escone, from past participle of a word for "hidden;" Italian a scancio "obliquely, slantingly;" or that it is a cognate of askew.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR ASKANT

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.