aspiration

noun
as·​pi·​ra·​tion | \ ˌas-pə-ˈrā-shən \

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

The unshakable confidence that comes from years of not living by extension, a perennial plus-one, years of not having to consider anyone else’s opinion, needs, tastes, aspirations, when determining myself. Reema Zaman, Vogue, "The Woman I Would Have Been Had I Let Myself Love You," 13 Feb. 2019 If the Catalan pro-independence parties reject the budget on Wednesday, paving the way for snap elections, the risk for them is that elections could lead to a new right-of-center government that is less sympathetic to Catalan aspirations. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Spain Is Pushed Closer to Snap Elections by Trial of Catalan Separatists," 12 Feb. 2019 Greece claims use of the name indicates territorial aspirations on the northern Greek province of the same name. Fox News, "German official: Athens, Skopje should solve name spat soon," 11 May 2018 In Your Spirit: As this month’s New and Full Moons activate your zones of soul-deep dreams and ballroom dancing aspirations, you’re being asked to reconnect to the concept of hope and innocence. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Monthly Lovescopes October 2018," 3 Oct. 2018 Millions of Bradford pears would be planted from California to Massachusetts and would come to signal the dream and aspirations of postwar suburbia. Adrian Higgins, The Seattle Times, "Scientists thought they had created the perfect tree. But it became a nightmare.," 17 Sep. 2018 But the illness that soon plagued Samone and other consumers reveals a troubling truth: This industry, which taps in to our weight-loss aspirations and includes OxyELITE Pro and hundreds of other supplements, is extremely difficult to regulate. Laura Beil, Redbook, "The Shocking Secrets Everyone Should Know About Diet Pills," 7 Mar. 2017 Henry Kissinger learned in the 1970s that a democratic society cannot sustain a foreign policy that does not defer in some way to its people’s moral aspirations. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "The Twilight of Human-Rights Diplomacy," 17 Dec. 2018 Unsurprisingly, her parents didn't exactly embrace their daughter's stand-up aspirations. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," 16 Dec. 2018

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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Last Updated

18 Feb 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 \

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 \

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 \ adjective

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