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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.
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!
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.
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!
ask forit/trouble Informal
To persist in an action despite the likelihood that it will result in difficulty or punishment.