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1. To request something. I asked for that report days ago!
2. slang To act in a way that warrants the punishment or other repercussions that follow. In this usage, "ask for" is a set phrase, usually followed by "it." Did you draw on the wall? Oh, you're asking for it now! Mary is a very patient person, so if she dumped Phil, he must have asked for it.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
ask someone for something
1. to request something from someone. The diners asked the waiter for a type of wine the restaurant didn't have. A special wine was asked for by a number of patrons.
2. and ask someone to something to invite someone to something. Janet asked us to a party Friday evening. Janet asked us for dinner.
ask for someone or something
to request someone or something; to ask that someone come forth. The police are at the door asking for Henry. The child asked for a glass of water.
ask for something (bad or dire)
to act badly, such that one will bring on bad consequences. If you keep misbehaving, you'll be asking for punishment. You're really asking for it!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, ask for it. To persist in an action despite the likelihood that it will bring trouble on oneself, as in Speeding as much as he does, he has been asking for a ticket and Mary deserved that low grade; in effect, she asked for it by not studying. [c. 1900] Also see ask for the moon.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To make a request for something: I can't solve the problem alone, so I'm asking for help.
2. To request someone's presence: I called the front desk and asked for Chris Smith.
3. To behave in a way that is viewed as provoking or inviting some outcome, usually one that is negative: You are asking for an accident by driving so fast!
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ask forit/trouble Informal
To persist in an action despite the likelihood that it will result in difficulty or punishment.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.