aspiration

noun
as·​pi·​ra·​tion | \ ˌas-pə-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

The retrenchment marks a definitive end to Deutsche’s aspirations to become Europe’s Goldman Sachs. The Economist, "Can Germany’s biggest lender survive on its own?," 21 June 2019 The city’s burgeoning craft brewery scene boils down to humbler aspirations shared by many in town. Emma Simmons, al.com, "Local homebrew clubs bring community to beer lovers," 18 June 2019 Those higher aspirations are no match for McConnell’s unstinting hyper-partisanship. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Enemy of the State," 13 June 2019 Long term, that’ll benefit China’s aspiration to transform Everest into a money-making tourist attraction that draws more than just climbers and trekkers. Adam Minter, Twin Cities, "Adam Minter: Everest needs to go more commercial," 10 June 2019 Amazon alone has designed more than two dozen drones since founder and CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the company's drone delivery aspirations in 2013. Rachel Metz, CNN, "Amazon's new futuristic drone will soon deliver packages," 5 June 2019 But two recent studies are now calling some of the methods underlying those aspirations into question. Quanta Magazine, "New Turmoil Over Predicting the Effects of Genes," 23 Apr. 2019 Chopra later hinted at possible future political aspirations for herself and her husband. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Priyanka Chopra: Duchess Meghan is the same 'authentic' person she was before meeting Prince Harry," 1 June 2019 Each time a man has won the White House, his wife has been expected to relinquish her life in deference to her husband’s political aspirations. Michelle Garcia, Glamour, "The First Lady Has a Huge Job. It’s Time She Had a Salary to Match," 3 Apr. 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

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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