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

But going barefoot is not the aspiration of any city dweller, hence the padded, slightly thicker sole on all of Parsons’s shoes. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Over the Ugly Shoe Trend? These Elegant, Ultra-Minimal Flat Sandals Are Summer Wardrobe Saviors," 19 July 2018 Artificial intelligence is no longer an aspiration but a tool that delivers results. Steven Levy, WIRED, "Inside Palmer Luckey’s Bid to Build A Border Wall," 11 June 2018 Sachdev has always been an activist in her heart, but recent events around the world have brought the aspiration to the forefront. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brookfield Central student to host an evening of solidarity to honor victims of gun-violence," 23 May 2018 The freedom from Saudi oil that’s been a rhetorical aspiration for generations of American politicians is within reach. Javier Blas, Bloomberg.com, "As Saudi Prince Visits U.S., Shale Transforms Oil Relationship," 19 Mar. 2018 Either way, Thursday's flight represented a great step forward for the company—and the aspirations of the new space community. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Virgin Galactic just flew to 82.68 kilometers—is this space?," 13 Dec. 2018 Erdogan said, in apparent reference to the aspirations for independence by Kurds in both countries. Time, "President Erdogan Surprises Turkey With a Snap Election Slated for June," 19 Apr. 2018 The young artist has aspirations to design clothes himself one day, too. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Meet the Young Artist Behind Tyler, the Creator’s Doodle-Covered Chucks," 20 Nov. 2018 Orlando City has playoff aspirations, which means the losses against Atlanta United and Toronto FC can’t be the start of another summer swoon. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City’s loss to Toronto FC sets up critical match against Chicago Fire," 19 May 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.

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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

1 Apr 2019

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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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