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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 The decision angered the Muslim world and was a setback for Palestinian aspirations for statehood. Rod Mcguirk, The Seattle Times, "Australia considers moving embassy to Jerusalem," 16 Oct. 2018 Chase, in partnership with Pulsenomics, measured results from thousands of survey respondents to gauge their sentiments on market conditions, aspirations for homeownership, and expectations regarding home values and affordability. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Rosy housing outlook in Houston in line with LA, San Diego," 27 June 2018 The members of Dusk all have big aspirations for the band, and will capitalize on the album with extensive touring. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Five Wisconsin bands to watch in 2018," 17 Jan. 2018 China isn’t the only country with commercial space aspirations; Brazil, India, Japan and the United Arab Emirates are all vying for launch business, too. Trefor Moss, WSJ, "In China’s New Space Odyssey, 80 Startups Race to Get Into Orbit," 11 Nov. 2018 While in Memphis, Laurel reunites with old flame Clay (Wes Brown), alocal music promoter with loftier aspirations. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "10 Things Happening in Music, TV, and Movies This Week You Need to Know About," 11 Nov. 2018 Kelly, once a star at Fox News, had long nurtured ambitions of moving out of the conservative news bubble and into the top tier of mainstream broadcast personalities, with aspirations of becoming a mix of Oprah Winfrey and Charlie Rose. Sarah Ellison, The Seattle Times, "Megyn Kelly’s NBC morning show is canceled," 26 Oct. 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.

See More

First Known Use of aspiration

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about aspiration

Share aspiration

Statistics for aspiration

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aspiration

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on aspiration

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

WORD OF THE DAY

means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!