as·​pi·​ra·​tion·​al ˌa-spə-ˈrā-sh(ə-)nəl How to pronounce aspirational (audio)
: of, relating to, or characterized by aspiration
aspirational goals
: such as
: 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
: 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
aspirationally adverb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Set Inspirational And Aspirational Goals Set a goal that is inspirational and aspirational, in addition to the more traditional goals. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2023 Over on a bench, Patricia Clarkson has planted roots and not moved all night, letting everyone come to her — a true aspirational queen. Jada Yuan, Washington Post, 13 Mar. 2023 The expectation that representation will always come with a dopamine spike risks an undue emphasis on the most anodyne, least objectionable stories, the content packaged for maximum virality or as aspirational perfection. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 12 Mar. 2023 On platforms where users strive to appear relatable, messiness has become its own kind of aspirational look to be studied and replicated. Callie Holtermann, New York Times, 8 Mar. 2023 Newsletter Sign-up Real Estate From aspirational residences to major commercial deals. Libertina Brandt, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2023 Weekly China insurance numbers suggest Tesla is struggling to find enough buyers to hit his aspirational figure of 2 million global sales this year without the help of President Biden’s generous Inflation Reduction Act tax credits. Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 2 Mar. 2023 Borow found comfort in the fact that TikTok denotes whether a filter was used on a video and believes that disclosure is helpful in distinguishing what’s real from what’s an aspirational filter. Daysia Tolentino, NBC News, 28 Feb. 2023 Lizzo’s self-facing snaps came with an incredibly stylish guest appearance and some truly aspirational elevator content. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 26 Feb. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


aspiration + -al entry 1

First Known Use

1866, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aspirational was in 1866

Dictionary Entries Near aspirational

Cite this Entry

“Aspirational.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

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