as·​pi·​rate | \ ˈa-sp(ə-)rət How to pronounce aspirate (audio) \

Definition of aspirate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an independent sound \h\ or a character (such as the letter h) representing it
2 : a consonant having aspiration as its final component in English the \p\ of pit is an aspirate
3 : material removed by aspiration


as·​pi·​rate | \ ˈa-spə-ˌrāt How to pronounce aspirate (audio) \
aspirated; aspirating

Definition of aspirate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to pronounce (a vowel or a consonant) with aspiration (see aspiration sense 3a)
2a : to draw by suction
b : to remove (something such as blood) by aspiration
c : to take into the lungs by aspiration

Examples of aspirate in a Sentence

Noun The word “hour” is not pronounced with an aspirate. Verb The letter “h” in “house” is aspirated, but the “h” in “hour” is not. She began coughing when she aspirated some orange juice.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun According to veterinary oncologists, a fine needle aspirate to see what kinds of cells it’s made of is almost always in order in these cases. Dr. Patty Khuly, miamiherald, "Most lumps are nothing serious, but don't take a chance. Call the vet.," 5 July 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mercedes-Benz compares a naturally aspirated (meaning no turbo, supercharger, or KRES) engine to the hybrid power unit that’s now standard across F1 racing on its website. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Formula One's Path to Total Carbon Neutrality," 12 Nov. 2019 Like its siblings, it is powered by a 5.2-liter V10 engine, mid-rear mounted and naturally aspirated, that makes 630 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. Los Angeles Times, "Lamborghini’s 2020 Huracan EVO is a hell of a ride, but maybe not a daily driver," 11 Oct. 2019 Bacteria first make a home in the mouth and then can be aspirated, or inhaled, into the lungs to cause serious infections. Frank Scannapieco, The Conversation, "Lack of toothbrushing for seniors in nursing homes may sound gross, but it’s a serious health risk," 17 Sep. 2019 While not much has been said about the 2020 model, reports from Germany have suggested it will be powered by a naturally aspirated (as in non-turbo) engine making 520 horsepower. NBC News, "10 of the most powerful, expensive, exotic new cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show," 13 Sep. 2019 In this case, that engine is a 310hp (231kW), 271lb-ft (367Nm) 3.6L naturally aspirated V6 coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2020 Cadillac XT6: Better than an Escalade in every way," 29 July 2019 Solid food could lead him to aspirate into his lungs and risk a life-threatening infection. Anchorage Daily News, "How Veterans Affairs failed to stop a pathologist who misdiagnosed 3,000 cases," 30 Aug. 2019 But wait, for 2020 the 718 will be powered by a new 414-horsepwer, 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine. San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Boxster 718: preserving Porsche purity," 18 Aug. 2019 Porsche downsized its naturally aspirated flat-six engine for 2017, but added twin turbochargers for more power and efficiency. Robert Duffer,, "Porsche 911 GTS is the quickest, fastest and most popular Carrera," 19 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aspirate.' 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 aspirate


1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1700, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aspirate


Latin aspiratus, past participle of aspirare

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Time Traveler for aspirate

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The first known use of aspirate was in 1617

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Cite this Entry

“Aspirate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for aspirate


How to pronounce aspirate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aspirate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

linguistics : the sound of the letter "h"


How to pronounce aspirate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aspirate (Entry 2 of 2)

linguistics : to pronounce (a letter or word) with the sound of a breath or the letter "h"
medical : to remove (liquid) from a person's body
medical : to breathe (liquid, food, etc.) into your lungs
as·​pi·​rate | \ ˈas-pə-ˌrāt How to pronounce aspirate (audio) \
aspirated; aspirating

Medical Definition of aspirate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to draw by suction
2 : to remove (as blood) by aspiration the portal vein is exposed and blood is aspirated with a 50-ml. syringeBiological Abstracts
3 : inhale aspirated material into the respiratory tractAnesthesia Digest


as·​pi·​rate | \ ˈas-p(ə-)ret How to pronounce aspirate (audio) \

Medical Definition of aspirate (Entry 2 of 2)

: material removed by aspiration

More from Merriam-Webster on aspirate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aspirate Encyclopedia article about aspirate

Comments on aspirate

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experienced by way of someone else

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