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

The bossa nova style arrived at a time Brazil aspired to take a larger place on the international stage under the leadership of President Juscelino Kubitschek in the 1950s. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Bossa Nova Became a Turning Point in Brazilian Culture. João Gilberto Helped Launch It," 8 July 2019 Gajaria also said the company aspires to grow 1% to 2% above the market. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "Indy spent $30M to keep Corteva’s 1,000-plus jobs, but company cagey about the future," 7 July 2019 But creating a car that young women also aspired to meant big sales. Brett Smith For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Today we have visionaries like Elon Musk and Mary Barra. But there was only one Lee Iacocca," 4 July 2019 The company has some other fun things for aspiring cyberpunk car owners to play with — literally. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Hans Zimmer designed the sound for BMW’s futuristic concept car," 29 June 2019 The doomsday argument all but rules out the final frontier to which many technophiles aspire. William Poundstone, WSJ, "‘Doomsday’ Math Says Humanity May Have Just 760 Years Left," 27 June 2019 Lucy will play the titular role of Katy Keene and will star alongside Riverdale's Ashleigh Murray, who will reprise her role as Josie McCoy, aspiring musician and Katy's close friend, on the new show. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Lucy Hale Opened Up About What to Expect From "Riverdale" Spinoff "Katy Keene"," 27 June 2019 In a big-picture sense, Xavier would seem the ideal example of what Bellarmine could aspire to as a Division I program. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "Morning Coffee: 5 high-majors that might schedule Bellarmine basketball," 19 June 2019 Steveson is one of the nation’s top heavyweights and an aspiring Olympian. Katrina Pross, Twin Cities, "No charges filed against UMN wrestlers; both are released from jail," 18 June 2019

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

11 Jul 2019

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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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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