“Propose” vs. “Ask Out”: What’s the Difference?

A line illustration of two people with their mouth open, and a giant question mark between them.

The difference between “propose” and “ask out”

  • "Propose" is more formal and can be used for a wider range of situations, including business proposals and proposals of marriage, while "ask out" is specifically used for asking someone to go on a romantic or social outing.
  • In romantic relationships, proposing is asking for someone's hand in marriage, while asking out is asking to date.
  • Proposing is suggesting an idea or option, while asking out is inquiring if the other party if they are willing to take a certain action.
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What is the definition of “propose” and “ask out”?

  • To offer or suggest (a plan, idea, etc.) for consideration or action.
  • To put forward (a person) for appointment or election to an office.
  • To make a marriage offer.
Ask out
  • To invite someone to go on a date with a romantic interest.
  • To request someone to go out or participate in an outing or activity.
  • To seek permission to go out or do something.

Which is the more popular variant on the Internet?

“Propose” is the more popular variant on the web.
More popular
670,000,000 results on the web
  1. I propose that we meet at the park for a picnic tomorrow afternoon.
  2. The boss proposed a new marketing strategy to increase sales.
  3. He proposed to his girlfriend on a boat in the middle of the lake.
Ask out
1,370,000 results on the web
  1. I'm going to ask out that cute barista at our favorite coffee shop.
  2. Why don't you ask out your coworker who's been flirting with you?
  3. He finally mustered up the courage to ask out the girl he's been crushing on for months.
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