aspiration

noun
as·​pi·​ra·​tion | \ ˌa-spə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce aspiration (audio) \

Definition of aspiration

1a : a strong desire to achieve something high or great an aspiration to become famous usually plural a young man with political/literary aspirations
b : an object of such desire An acting career is her aspiration.
2 : a drawing of something in, out, up, or through by or as if by suction: such as
a : the act of breathing and especially of breathing in
b : the withdrawal (as by suction) of fluid or tissue from the body the aspiration of stomach fluids
c : the taking of foreign matter into the lungs with the respiratory current problems caused by the aspiration of fluids into the patient's lungs
3 linguistics
a : audible breath that accompanies or comprises a speech sound
b : the pronunciation or addition of an aspiration the aspiration of the letter "h" in "a house" also : the symbol of an aspiration

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Choose the Right Synonym for aspiration

ambition, aspiration, pretension mean strong desire for advancement. ambition applies to the desire for personal advancement or preferment and may suggest equally a praiseworthy or an inordinate desire. driven by ambition aspiration implies a striving after something higher than oneself. an aspiration to become president someday pretension suggests ardent desire for recognition of accomplishment often without actual possession of the necessary ability and therefore may imply presumption. has literary pretensions

Examples of aspiration in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There was an aspiration toward less polish, less professionalism, less of everything that felt like mainstream comedy. David Peisner, Vulture, 21 May 2021 Though movie stars were very real in the ‘70s, acting wasn’t a realistic aspiration then. John Tamny, Forbes, 20 May 2021 Tucked in other folders were notes of aspiration my mother left me in lunchboxes, and mantras written on paper ripped out of spiral notebooks. Washington Post, 8 May 2021 Our sense of aspiration, our sense that something could happen. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2021 Under the new legislation, aspiration abortions can be performed at a hospital, clinic, or nurse’s office. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, 13 Apr. 2021 Hope for an eradication or elimination is a towering aspiration. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, 13 May 2021 Xiaolu Liu, Founder of NEIWAI: NEIWAI’s greatest aspiration has always been to bring comfort to women in every aspect, but our focus has been on creating lingerie, loungewear, and sportswear that free our wearers' bodies and minds. Lauren Hallanan, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021 While fully autonomous vehicles and trucks are an aspiration for the open roads and highways, fully autonomous vehicles to provide the last mile of transit in certain settings such as academic or corporate campuses have a more immediate future. Patrick Kennedy, Star Tribune, 30 Mar. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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Time Traveler for aspiration

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for aspiration

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aspiration.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aspiration. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for aspiration

aspiration

noun
as·​pi·​ra·​tion | \ ˌa-spə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce aspiration (audio) \

Kids Definition of aspiration

1 : a strong desire to achieve something She left home with aspirations for a better life.
2 : something that one wants very much to achieve Fame has always been his aspiration.

aspiration

noun
as·​pi·​ra·​tion | \ ˌas-pə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce aspiration (audio) \

Medical Definition of aspiration

: a drawing of something in, out, up, or through by or as if by suction: as
a : the act of breathing and especially of breathing in
b : the withdrawal of fluid or friable tissue from the body
c : the taking of foreign matter into the lungs with the respiratory current

Other Words from aspiration

aspirational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce aspiration (audio) \ adjective

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