ask (v.)

Old English ascian "ask, call for an answer; make a request," from earlier ahsian, from Proto-Germanic *aiskojanan (source also of 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" (source also of Sanskrit icchati "seeks, desires," Armenian aic "investigation," Old Church Slavonic iskati "to seek," Lithuanian ieškau, ieškoti "to seek").

Form in English influenced by a Scandinavian cognate (such as Danish æske; the Old English would have evolved by normal sound changes into ash, esh, which was a Midlands and southwestern 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.

Definitions of ask

ask (v.)
make a request or demand for something to somebody;
She asked him for a loan
ask (v.)
direct or put; seek an answer to;
ask a question
ask (v.)
consider obligatory; request and expect;
Aren't we asking too much of these children?
Synonyms: require / expect
ask (v.)
address a question to and expect an answer from;
The children asked me about their dead grandmother
He had to ask directions several times
Synonyms: inquire / enquire
ask (v.)
require as useful, just, or proper;
This job asks a lot of patience and skill
Synonyms: necessitate / postulate / need / require / take / involve / call for / demand
ask (v.)
make a date;
Has he asked you out yet?" "He asekd me to a dance
Synonyms: ask out / invite out / take out
ask (v.)
require or ask for as a price or condition;
The kidnappers are asking a million dollars in return for the release of their hostage
He is asking $200 for the table