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


The silence remained unbroken, until Paralus asked for music.

"He asked me if I liked white kids," answered the blushing peasant.

I asked him what reward the Helots had for bravery or virtue.

Dal says he asked 'em, and he says they says, 'Well, why not?

I asked, 'Is this the divine home, whence I departed into the body?'

When I asked the meaning of this, they showed me a triangle.

Mr. Paine has asked me to see Mr. Plane about repairing the boat.

Going back amazed, he asked his companion who the girl he had seen could have been.

And when my brother was about to marry that woman, and Mr. Shepler asked me to marry him, I consented.

"You asked my opinion, and I gave it," said Robert, not flinching.


Old English ascian "ask, call for an answer; make a request," from earlier ahsian, from Proto-Germanic *aiskojan (cf. Old Saxon escon, Old Frisian askia "request, demand, ask," Middle Dutch eiscen, Dutch eisen "to ask, demand," Old High German eiscon "to ask (a question)," German heischen "to ask, demand"), from PIE *ais- "to wish, desire" (cf. Sanskrit icchati "seeks, desires," Armenian aic "investigation," Old Church Slavonic iskati "to seek," Lithuanian ieškau "to seek").

Form in English influenced by a Scandinavian form of the word (cf. Danish æske; the Old English would have evolved by normal sound changes into ash, esh, which was a Midlands and s.w. England dialect form). Modern dialectal ax is as old as Old English acsian and was an accepted literary variant until c.1600. Related: Asked; asking. Old English also had fregnan/frignan which carried more directly the sense of "question, inquire," and is from PIE root *prek-, the common source of words for "ask" in most Indo-European languages (see pray). If you ask me "in my opinion" is attested from 1910. Asking price is attested from 1755.


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