askance

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

Unknown. Possibly from Middle English askances (as if), or from Old French a escone (hidden) or Italian a scancio (obliquely). Compare asquint, Middle English askoyn (at a slant, askance), Dutch schuin, schuins (sideways), schuiven (to shove), schuinte (slope).

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /əˈskæns/, /əˈskɑːns/
  • (US) IPA(key): /əˈskæns/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɑːns, -æns

AdverbEdit

askance (not comparable)

  1. (of a look or glance) With disapproval, skepticism, or suspicion.
    The beggar asked for change, but the haughty woman only looked at him askance.
  2. Sideways; obliquely.
    • 1896, H. G. Wells, chapter 8, in The Island of Doctor Moreau:
      I glanced askance at this strange creature, and found him watching me with his queer, restless eyes.
    • 1878, Henry James, chapter 1, in The Europeans:
      ...the head-stones in the grave-yard beneath seemed to be holding themselves askance to keep it out of their faces.

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

askance (not comparable)

  1. Turned to the side, especially of the eyes.

SynonymsEdit

VerbEdit

askance (third-person singular simple present askances, present participle askancing, simple past and past participle askanced)

  1. (rare, transitive) To look at (someone or something) with a sideways glance.
    • 1953, Lowry Charles Wimberly, Prairie Schooner (volume 27, page 406)
      Bowed heads, Aunt Ellen's, Aunt Laura's, her sister's — bowed but askancing her yellow dress — yes, yellow, golden yellow, hue of sun and life, Dad's favorite, to see him off on this, his greatest journey.
    • 1997, Tibor Fischer, The Thought Gang (page 185)
      "My dear sir," said Hube in an authoritative manner to the receptionist askancing Thales, "first of all, we aren't tourists. Secondly, this isn't a rat, this is the present embodiment of the spiritual leader of millions of people in India []
  2. (rare, transitive) To turn (one's eye or gaze) to the side.
    • 1826, William Hone, The Every Day Book, Or, A Guide to the Year:
      The pope askanced his eye at Michael with displeasure, and after a short pause saluted him, " Instead of your coming to us, you seem to have expected that we should attend upon you."