as·​pect | \ˈas-ˌpekt \

Definition of aspect 

1a : a particular status or phase in which something appears or may be regarded They studied every aspect of the question.

b(1) : appearance to the eye or mind the threatening aspect of the dark sky

(2) : a particular appearance of the face : mien … all that's best of dark and bright / Meet in her aspect and her eyes.— Lord Byron

2a : the position of planets or stars with respect to one another held by astrologers to influence human affairs also : the apparent position (such as conjunction) of a body in the solar system with respect to the sun

b : a position facing a particular direction : exposure a house with a southern aspect

c : the manner of presentation of a plane to a fluid through which it is moving or to a current

3 grammar

a : the nature of the action of a verb as to its beginning, duration, completion, or repetition and without reference to its position in time

b : a set of inflected (see inflect sense 2) verb forms that indicate aspect

4 archaic : an act of looking : gaze

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Other Words from aspect

aspectual \a-​ˈspek-​chə(-​wə)l, -​chü(-​ə)l \ adjective

Synonyms for aspect


angle, facet, hand, phase, side

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Did You Know?

Since aspectus in Latin means "looked at", an aspect of something is basically the direction from which it's looked at. So we may say that travel is your favorite aspect of your job, or that eating well is one aspect of a healthy life. If you look at a stage set from the front, it looks completely different than from behind, where all the mechanisms are visible, and both aspects are important. The word can be very useful when you're analyzing something, and it's used a great deal in the writings of scholars.

Examples of aspect in a Sentence

depending on what aspect of college life you consider most important, there are several colleges which might be good for you he has the aspect of a man used to giving orders and seeing them obeyed

Recent Examples on the Web

Perhaps the most delicious aspect might be the environmental benefits of Fababutter. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Are Chickpeas the New Chic Peas?," 7 Dec. 2018 The plainest aspect of this edition is, curiously, the translation itself. A.e. Stallings, WSJ, "‘Characters’ Review: You Know the Types," 7 Dec. 2018 But the torturous aspects are easy to forget against the backdrop of Palace Merano’s beautiful setting in the hills of northern Italy. Irena Medavoy, Town & Country, "How to Detox Like a Hollywood Power Player," 5 Nov. 2018 The most distinctive aspect of the home is its triangular shape. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Mysterious House From 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' Episode Up For Sale," 5 Nov. 2018 The ideal trip is nine days long, and parents say the most important aspects of a trip are the location (79 percent), the budget (71 percent) and the dates of travel (47 percent). Marie Haaland, Fox News, "The average American's 'dream vacation' takes just under a year to save for, study finds," 28 Sep. 2018 But maybe the most appealing aspect for international travelers is that Heckfield Place is 45 minutes from Heathrow airport; its a serene way to ease into your holiday in London, or postpone your return to the real world.. Jo Rodgers, Condé Nast Traveler, "Inside the U.K.'s Most Anticipated Hotel Opening This Summer," 31 Aug. 2018 In fact, a disorienting aspect of reading anything on middle children written prior to 2016 is that Trump is routinely cited as an example of the middle child’s proclivity for negotiation. Adam Sternbergh, The Cut, "The Extinction of the Middle Child," 11 July 2018 The most important aspect tomorrow is our chance to play in the quarter-final. Justin Davis,, "Martinez: Belgium are 'very excited' to face Brazil in World Cup quarterfinals," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aspect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aspect

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for aspect

Middle English, from Latin aspectus, from aspicere to look at, from ad- + specere to look — more at spy

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Dictionary Entries near aspect







aspect ratio

Statistics for aspect

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aspect

The first known use of aspect was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for aspect



English Language Learners Definition of aspect

: a part of something

: the way a person, place, or thing appears

: the direction that something (such as a room or building) faces or points towards


as·​pect | \ˈa-ˌspekt \

Kids Definition of aspect

1 : the appearance of something : look The old house took on a dark and lonely aspect at night.

2 : a certain way in which something appears or may be thought of We considered every aspect of the question.

3 : a position facing a certain direction The house has a southern aspect.


as·​pect | \ˈas-ˌpekt \

Medical Definition of aspect 

1 : the part of an object (as an organ) in a particular position the medial aspects of the knees— R. H. Nyquist

2 : a particular status or phase in which something appears or may be regarded the medicolegal aspects of pregnancyBulletin of Meharry Medical College

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More from Merriam-Webster on aspect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aspect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aspect

Spanish Central: Translation of aspect

Nglish: Translation of aspect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aspect for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about aspect

Comments on aspect

What made you want to look up aspect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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