per·​spire | \ pər-ˈspī(-ə)r How to pronounce perspire (audio) \
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 muggy South Florida, the Spartans expect to perspire until the very end. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, 14 Sep. 2021 Symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, fainting, headache and either profuse sweating or the inability to perspire, system officials said. Liz Hardaway, San Antonio Express-News, 16 June 2021 If your feet perspire a lot on the slopes, get a pair of ski socks that will wick moisture away from your skin. Outdoor Life, 24 Feb. 2021 Has there ever been another athlete who did not perspire? Dan Shaughnessy,, 12 Feb. 2021 By the end of the debate, Kennedy, tanned and relaxed, appeared to have triumphed over a sickly looking Nixon, who had been noticeably perspiring under Mr. Hymes’s lights. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, 2 Aug. 2019 Basically, a dormant woody tree or shrub sitting out in the cold of winter doesn’t perspire. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 31 Jan. 2020 Melted into a blanket of perspiring nuttiness, splashed with a sea of dressing that spills out the sandwich’s sides. Kara Baskin,, 13 Aug. 2019 To define them briefly, today’s saunas are high-heat, vented rooms for relaxing and perspiring. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 18 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for perspire

Time Traveler

The first known use of perspire was circa 1682

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Statistics for perspire

Last Updated

23 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Perspire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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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 : sweat


per·​spire | \ pər-ˈspīr How to pronounce perspire (audio) \
perspired; perspiring

Kids Definition of perspire

: to give off salty liquid through the skin


intransitive verb
per·​spire | \ pər-ˈspī(ə)r How to pronounce perspire (audio) \
perspired; perspiring

Medical Definition of perspire

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

More from Merriam-Webster on perspire

Nglish: Translation of perspire for Spanish Speakers


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