as·​pi·​ra·​tion·​al | \ˌas-pə-ˈrā-sh(ə-)nəl \

Definition of aspirational 

: of, relating to, or characterized by aspiration aspirational goals : such as

a : having or showing a desire to achieve a high level of success or social status … private schools are patronised … by parents struggling to produce intelligent, clear-thinking, disciplined, polite, aspirational children …— Katie Grant

b : associated with or suggestive of a high level of success and social status and therefore appealing to people who aspire to such status aspirational brands/products

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Other Words from aspirational

aspirationally adverb

Examples of aspirational in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Such books matched the needs of students, professionals, and other aspirational readers who used these texts for practical purposes. Amanda Laugesen, Smithsonian, "This Cold War-Era Publishing House Wanted To Share American Values With the World," 13 July 2018 But the transactional tended to be married to the aspirational, even by Republicans. Karl Vick, Time, "Trump's Decision to Expel Salvadoran Immigrants Reverses an American Tradition," 11 Jan. 2018 At a whopping $4,100, the Studio was an aspirational device that all would covet, but few could afford. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft launches next-gen Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop, Surface Studio and more," 2 Oct. 2018 Since stepping onto the scene in 2016, Sasha Lane has caused heads to swivel with glittering hair jewelry, artful eyeliner, and a palpable confidence that renders any look a touch more aspirational. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Sasha Lane Has a Celestial Hair Moment on the Red Carpet—and It's Worth a Closer Look," 23 July 2018 From its genesis, they were never meant to reflect reality; they were supposed to be aspirational, which is problematic. Shammara Lawrence, Glamour, "Natasha Rothwell: 'I'm a Plus-Size, Fat-Loving, Body-Positive Feminist, and I Look for Roles That Celebrate That'," 16 Mar. 2018 To me, that’s very aspirational, and Debenhams has a huge reach., "Designer Richard Quinn On The Met Gala, The Queen, & Meghan Markle," 31 May 2018 The competitive amateur runner, on the other hand, has the benefit of representing an ideal that is simultaneously aspirational and attainable. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, "The Speed Project: A Crazy, 340-Mile Desert Relay," 21 June 2018 In the end, after a spirited session of aspirational dinking, the players do the traditional clinking of their paddles. Amy S. Rosenberg,, "Ocean City and the most cutthroat pickleball game at the Jersey Shore," 11 July 2018

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

1866, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aspirational

aspiration + -al entry 1

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Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for aspirational

The first known use of aspirational was in 1866

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More from Merriam-Webster on aspirational

Britannica English: Translation of aspirational for Arabic Speakers

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


a knickknack or trinket

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