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.

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Other Words from aspire

aspirer noun

Synonyms for aspire


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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 He was also found guilty of third-degree rape, which carries a maximum of four years in prison, for assaulting aspiring actor Jessica Mann in 2013. Patricia Hurtado,, "Weinstein Prosecutor Urges Stiff Sentence After ‘Lifetime of Abuse’," 7 May 2020 The queens each select people who’ve all had different experiences with drag — some are aspiring drag queens, others have never even seen a drag show — and put them through a week-long boot camp. Kelsea Stahler,, "You’re Missing Out If You Haven’t Seen Drag Race Alum Shangela’s New HBO Show," 7 May 2020 The idea that Bolivia might aspire to bottle something better is not silly. The Economist, "Bolivia’s other intoxicating export—fine wine," 23 Apr. 2020 No one is aspiring to really drive on the sun, and Orgill points out that Jupiter has no surface to drive on. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What It's Like to Drive on Other Planets," 9 Apr. 2020 For anyone aspiring to keep working from home with pre-lockdown intensity, even through symptoms of the virus itself, Johnson provided a shining example. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "Do we want our leaders to stay strong in a crisis, or do we want them to survive it?," 8 Apr. 2020 The world is looking at us, so my vision is to make Anchorage brighter and a shining light for the rest of our nation to see and aspire to become. Anchorage Daily News, "14 questions: Anchorage Assembly candidate MoHagani Magnetek," 28 Mar. 2020 Voss’ presentations include tips on the basics for novice hunters and a how-to for those aspiring to make their own gear, such as the calls he fashions from wing bones. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The 'Turkey Commander' will share 40 years of hunting experience ... and some entertaining tales too," 2 Mar. 2020 Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian translator and aspiring model who threatened to make that arrangement public, was murdered by two of Najib’s bodyguards, who then destroyed her body with plastic explosives. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's Magazine, "The Malaysian Job," 27 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for aspire

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for aspire

Last Updated

15 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aspire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce aspire (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aspire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aspire

Spanish Central: Translation of aspire

Nglish: Translation of aspire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aspire for Arabic Speakers

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