as·​pire | \ ə-ˈspī(-ə)r How to pronounce aspire (audio) \
aspired; aspiring

Definition of aspire

intransitive verb

1 : to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal She aspired to a career in medicine.
2 : ascend, soar

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Other Words from aspire

aspirer noun

Synonyms for aspire


aim, allow [chiefly Southern & Midland], calculate, contemplate, design, go [chiefly Southern & Midland], intend, look, mean, meditate, plan, propose, purport, purpose

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Examples of aspire in a Sentence

aspire to great deeds, and you have a better chance of doing good deeds a tower aspiring towards the heavens

Recent Examples on the Web

Chloe aspires to sign with a label and release her own music. Marie Milano, Country Living, "Who Is Olivia Newton-John's Daughter, Chloe Lattanzi?," 16 Feb. 2019 But shouldn’t all humans aspire to connect with other humans on a deep and personal level? Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "So, What Exactly Is a Rom-Com Actually?," 13 Feb. 2019 Ever since the arrival of the iPhone, car designers have aspired to replicate that sleek, glassy aesthetic within the cabin. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Touchscreen Infotainment Systems in New Cars Are a Distracting Mess," 7 Feb. 2019 Instead of aspiring to the ‘see-and-be-seen’ mentality this Independence Day, escape the scene altogether. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chanel Just Launched Three Unisex Fragrances That Will Change The Way You Think About Chanel Perfume," 21 June 2018 This was Maduro as benefactor in a country of people in desperate need. Instead of aspiring to a glorious future on the back of Venezuela’s leftist revolution, most turned out seeking far more modest gains in a country on the verge of collapse. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, "On the campaign trail with Venezuela’s Maduro, they turn out for the fatherland, and for food.," 16 May 2018 And now 21 aspiring female filmmakers from 13 countries are getting the chance to live their dreams by crafting digital shorts with Disney’s new #DreamBigPrincess series. Kathleen Christiansen,, "Disney series supports aspiring female filmmakers," 10 July 2018 Billie Lourd helped make two aspiring filmmakers very happy recently during a very special night at the Tribeca Film Festival. Ale Russian,, "Carrie Fisher's Daughter Billie Lourd Helps Award $25,000 Film Grants to Two Filmmakers Through Moët Moment Film Festival," 11 May 2018 The cast was diverse, with African American actor Jahi D'Allo Winston playing one of the lead characters, Luke O'Neil, an aspiring filmmaker being raised by a single mother after his father left the family. Kristi Turnquist,, "Fans of Oregon-filmed 'Everything Sucks!' launch campaign, petition to renew canceled show," 11 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aspire

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French aspirer, from Latin aspirare, literally, to breathe upon, from ad- + spirare to breathe

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Statistics for aspire

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aspire

The first known use of aspire was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for aspire



English Language Learners Definition of aspire

: to want to have or achieve something (such as a particular career or level of success)


as·​pire | \ ə-ˈspīr How to pronounce aspire (audio) \
aspired; aspiring

Kids Definition of aspire

: to very much want to have or achieve something aspire to greatness

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More from Merriam-Webster on aspire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aspire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aspire

Spanish Central: Translation of aspire

Nglish: Translation of aspire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aspire for Arabic Speakers

Comments on aspire

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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