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

Even if the 15% reduction is more of an aspiration, substantial reductions may be difficult for some state agencies. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Internal Dunleavy administration document suggests more budget cuts to come," 6 Sep. 2019 Like so much of the Soviet-era literature acclaimed in the West, Grossman’s work is celebrated as a warning of the dangers of revolutionary aspirations. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "Vasily Grossman’s Lost Epic," 27 Aug. 2019 At this rate, aging will not only be an aspiration, but a celebration. Catherine Feliciano-chon, Quartz, "Asia’s affluent boomers are making aging aspirational," 29 July 2019 Attaining global eradication is the goal of anti-rabies organizations, but most see it as an aspiration, not a likely achievement. James Gorman, New York Times, "Rabies Kills Tens of Thousands Yearly. Vaccinating Dogs Could Stop It.," 22 July 2019 Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned famed architect Le Corbusier to design a new the city of Chandigarh, to signal India’s newfound democracy and symbolize its national aspirations. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The Kardashians have this modernist Indian city to thank for their dining chairs," 6 June 2019 In other words, precedent isn’t a goal or an aspiration. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Read the full transcript of Sen. Collins’s speech announcing she’ll vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh," 5 Oct. 2018 But, perhaps, more importantly, these earth signs aren’t afraid to put in the work to actualize their aspirations. Allure, "How the Sun's Position In Your Birth Chart Affects Your Zodiac Sign," 14 Aug. 2018 The key to India realizing its economic aspirations may be found in its diverse and inclusive democracy. The Christian Science Monitor, "Giving brushoffs the brushoff," 5 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for aspiration

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for aspiration

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

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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 aspirational (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on aspiration

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