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 In the critical darling of a film, a modern adaptation of the 1868 Louisa May Alcott classic, passionate aspiring author Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) delivers a performance that scored her an Oscar nod. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Little Women Has Produced the Perfect Meme For All the Things Everyone Simply Can't Do," 18 Feb. 2020 The second one is the guy who will freely give advice to young guys aspiring to be SEALs. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Villager Q&A: Don Shipley, ex-Navy SEAL who tracks down military imposters," 14 Feb. 2020 Arias, 26, was a blonde, beautiful and seemingly carefree aspiring photographer. Gail Deutsch, ABC News, "Friends say they warned Travis Alexander that Jodi Arias was dangerous for months before she killed him," 13 Feb. 2020 State Labor Department officials have for now scrapped a plan to overhaul training requirements for aspiring plumbers, electricians and linemen following strong pushback from legislators and numerous construction trade groups. Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "State scraps revisions to Alaska workforce training regulations pending further input," 13 Feb. 2020 That would be an improvement after last year’s last-place showing, though the Longhorns’ aspire to be more than a middle-of-the-pack floater. Nick Moyle,, "Texas baseball: A major league influx of coaches," 13 Feb. 2020 Those of slender means who aspire to wear up-to-the-minute runway fashions no longer have to wait for garment racks to fall off a truck and land in a Chinatown basement. Cintra Wilson, The New York Review of Books, "Waste Not, Shop Not," 11 Feb. 2020 For students who might aspire to become businessmen, IITs and IIMs are prime for networking with the startup community. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Dropout rates at India’s elite colleges have fallen drastically in last five years," 11 Feb. 2020 But there’s a whole bunch of other kids who don’t aspire to do that but who have tremendous skills as mechanics. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "Ginn Academy working to ensure all students graduate ready to work, with job certification," 10 Feb. 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

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aspire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for aspire


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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