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

intransitive verb

: to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal
She aspired to a career in medicine.
aspirer noun

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 Ream was convicted with first-degree murder in July for killing Hurd, 20, a college athlete who aspired to play professional basketball. Jasmine Hilton, Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2024 But as a current or aspiring leader, the power is in your hands to make a difference. Rachel Wells, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 An artist in blissful control of her trademark strangeness, Björk’s way of being a weird woman in the music world meant a lot to aspiring weirdos like me. Myriam Gurba, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 People who aspire to be in politics with no work experience are the most frightening citizens in our country. Eleanor Dearman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 In the kitchen, there’s lots of custom wood cabinetry for storage and top-of-the-line appliances for the aspiring chef. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 13 Feb. 2024 For example, California requires aspiring CPAs to complete at least one year (or 2,000 hours) of general accounting experience, which needs to be supervised by a licensed CPA. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 2 Feb. 2024 Esposito aspired to be president or CEO of Goldman, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Luisa Beltran, Fortune, 31 Jan. 2024 The story revolves around aspiring Broadway actresses who live in the Footlights Club, a theatrical boardinghouse in New York. Brett Weiss, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aspire.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near aspire

Cite this Entry

“Aspire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


as·​pire ə-ˈspī(ə)r How to pronounce aspire (audio)
aspired; aspiring
: to work to get something high or great
aspirer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on aspire

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!