How Do You Spell ASKAUNCE?

Pronunciation: [ˈaskɔːns] (IPA)

Askaunce is a rarely used word that means "askew" or "at an angle." Its spelling can be a bit confusing, but it is pronounced /əˈskɔːns/, with stress on the second syllable. The "a" in the first syllable is pronounced like the "u" in "cup," while the "au" in the second syllable is pronounced like the "ou" in "house." The "nc" in the end is pronounced like "ns," making the word sound like "a-skauns." Although not commonly used, understanding its spelling and pronunciation can help you in your overall vocabulary building.

ASKAUNCE Meaning and Definition

  1. Askaunce is an archaic adverb in Middle English derived from the Old French word "esquencé," meaning "askew" or "obliquely." It is used to describe something that is done or performed in a sidelong or indirect manner. It suggests a sense of being askance or sideways, not directly facing or openly addressing something. With its origins dating back to the 14th century, askaunce is rarely used in modern English vocabulary.

    The term can also convey the idea of a glance or a look delivered with suspicion, skepticism, or doubt. It implies a sense of skepticism or questioning, as if the person or object being looked at is viewed with a sidelong or searching gaze. In this sense, askaunce carries an element of skulking or stealthiness, indicating a hidden agenda or ulterior motive. It suggests a sense of secrecy or mistrust, as the look delivered is not open and straightforward.

    Although less commonly used today, askaunce can be encountered in older literature, particularly in the works of Chaucer and Shakespeare, adding a touch of antiquity and poetic flair to the text. Due to its archaic nature, it has largely fallen out of common usage, replaced by more contemporary terms conveying similar sentiments such as "sideways," "doubtfully," or "suspiciously."

Etymology of ASKAUNCE

The word "askaunce" is derived from the Middle English phrase "a scanne" or "ascan". It comes from the combination of the prefix "a-", meaning "on" or "to", and the Old French word "scan", which means "a glance" or "a side look". In Middle English, "askaunce" originally meant "askew" or "sideways", implying a sideways or oblique glance or look. Over time, the word evolved to also include the meaning of suspicion or mistrust, suggesting a skeptical or wary attitude.