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 WebOther comments reflect pride in China’s peacemaking aspirations and draw comparisons between the Palestinians’ struggles and China’s past experiences with colonialism.—Jennifer Jett, NBC News, 22 Nov. 2023 Jesse Dominguez had the same aspirations many in Los Angeles do: to be an actor.—Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2023 What comes up for me is that the Palestinian public can be forced to disregard their national aspirations.—Emily Bazelon, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2023 Palestinian aspirations must be addressed, with potentially a political horizon towards a two-state solution, which will require genuine concessions, commitment, and good-faith dealmaking from Israeli and Palestinian officials alike.—Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, 20 Nov. 2023 While reflecting on his journey to becoming a novelist, Hackman shared his son’s early career aspirations during a January 2020 interview with Empire magazine.—Francesca Gariano, Peoplemag, 19 Nov. 2023 Solid, foundational humanity—community, caring—moved from legitimate aspiration to naive teenage daydream.—Raven Smith, Vogue, 15 Nov. 2023 Ignoring the national aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis won’t solve their conflict.—Arash Azizi, The Atlantic, 15 Nov. 2023 Questions to Learn About Your Toddler Nearly all questions will give you a glimpse into your child's inner world, but those focusing on aspirations, security, and fears push back the curtain even further, explains Dr. Talley.—Christin Perry, Parents, 13 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aspiration.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.