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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from aspire

aspirer noun

Synonyms for aspire


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Think about the 15-year-old version of Tana watching all day long, looking at Instagram who wants to aspire to be that. Frederick Daso, Forbes, 5 July 2021 What other artists have given you something to aspire to? Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 17 May 2021 There was no common Internet, no legend of Geno Auriemma, no professional league to aspire to and - judging by photos - no hair style that wasn’t overly poofy. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 Mar. 2021 Actually governing bodies should aspire to do better. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, 25 June 2021 The statistics in Texas provide an example of what other states, or even countries, could aspire to (Table 1). Ian Palmer, Forbes, 25 June 2021 For many well-to-do Americans and those who aspire to join their ranks, the backyard has become the ultimate family room, a place to be decorated and tamed, a receptacle for stylish stuff, while nature is held at bay. Washington Post, 26 May 2021 Introduced in 1971 as something of a big brother to the original 1953 Explorer, the Explorer II has always appealed to the boldest adventurers — or those who aspire to be. Victoria Gomelsky, Robb Report, 21 May 2021 Monster movies, as a general rule, don’t aspire to this level of sensitivity. Jason Kehe, Wired, 10 May 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About aspire

Time Traveler for aspire

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near aspire




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for aspire

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aspire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on aspire

Nglish: Translation of aspire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aspire for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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