Dictionary

transpire

verb tran·spire \tran(t)-ˈspī(-ə)r\

: to happen

: to become known

of a plant : to have water evaporate from the surface of leaves

tran·spiredtran·spir·ing

Full Definition of TRANSPIRE

transitive verb
:  to pass off or give passage to (a fluid) through pores or interstices; especially :  to excrete (as water) in the form of a vapor through a living membrane (as the skin)
intransitive verb
1
:  to give off vaporous material; specifically :  to give off or exude watery vapor especially from the surfaces of leaves
2
:  to pass in the form of a vapor from a living body
3
a :  to be revealed :  come to light
b :  to become known or apparent :  develop
4
:  to take place :  go on, occur

Usage Discussion of TRANSPIRE



Sense 4 of transpire is the frequent whipping boy of those who suppose sense 3 to be the only meaning of the word. Sense 4 appears to have developed in the late 18th century; it was well enough known to have been used by Abigail Adams in a letter to her husband in 1775 <there is nothing new transpired since I wrote you last — Abigail Adams>. Noah Webster recognized the new sense in his dictionary of 1828. Transpire was evidently a popular word with 19th century journalists; sense 4 turns up in such pretentiously worded statements as The police drill will transpire under shelter to-day in consequence of the moist atmosphere prevailing. Around 1870 the sense began to be attacked as a misuse on the grounds of etymology, and modern critics echo the damnation of 1870. Sense 4 has been in existence for about two centuries; it is firmly established as standard; it occurs now primarily in serious prose, not the ostentatiously flamboyant prose typical of 19th century journalism.
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Examples of TRANSPIRE

  1. No one will soon forget the historic events that transpired on that day.
  2. A plant transpires more freely on a hot dry day.
  3. Trees transpire water at a rapid rate.

Origin of TRANSPIRE

Middle French transpirer, from Medieval Latin transpirare, from Latin trans- + spirare to breathe
First Known Use: 1597
TRANSPIRE Defined for Kids

transpire

verb trans·pire \trans-ˈpīr\
trans·piredtrans·pir·ing

Definition of TRANSPIRE for Kids

1
:  to come to pass :  happen <Important events transpired that day.>
2
:  to become known or apparent <It transpired that they had met before.>
3
:  to give off water vapor through openings in the leaves

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