per·​spire | \pər-ˈspī(-ə)r \
perspired; perspiring

Definition of perspire 

intransitive verb

: to emit matter through the skin specifically : to secrete and emit perspiration

Examples of perspire in a Sentence

I was nervous and could feel myself start to perspire. She ran two miles and wasn't even perspiring.

Recent Examples on the Web

In some of the wholesale places customers stood three deep waiting for the perspiring clerks to take their orders., "July 1, 1919: Prohibition begins," 1 July 2018 Once a person stops perspiring, in very short order a person can move from heat exhaustion to heat stroke. Katherine Harmon, Scientific American, "How Does a Heat Wave Affect the Human Body?," 23 July 2010 Antiperspirant prevents you from perspiring, just as the name suggests. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Why I’m Never Using Drugstore Antiperspirants Again," 23 May 2018 On a balmy Saturday night in October, a group of perspiring revelers were crowded into The Eagle NYC to watch the annual Mr. Eagle competition. NBC News, "How 'The Eagle' Became One of the Most Recognized Gay Bar Names," 24 Oct. 2017 Dogs can’t perspire, so cool fresh air is essential. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Here are the best new vehicles for traveling with dogs," 30 Aug. 2017 In the kitchen, the woman who runs the restaurant, Nguyên Thi Liên, was smiling, perspiring, and clearly overwhelmed. Adam Davidson, The New Yorker, "Anthony Bourdain’s Moveable Feast," 13 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perspire.' 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 perspire

circa 1682, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for perspire

French perspirer, from Middle French, from Latin per- through + spirare to blow, breathe — more at per-

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Statistics for perspire

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Time Traveler for perspire

The first known use of perspire was circa 1682

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More Definitions for perspire



English Language Learners Definition of perspire

: to produce a clear liquid from your skin when you are hot or nervous


per·​spire | \pər-ˈspīr \
perspired; perspiring

Kids Definition of perspire

: to give off salty liquid through the skin

per·​spire | \pər-ˈspī(ə)r \
perspired; perspiring

Medical Definition of perspire 

: to emit matter through the skin specifically : to secrete and emit perspiration

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Comments on perspire

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full of whispering sounds

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