transpire

verb
tran·​spire | \ tran(t)-ˈspī(-ə)r How to pronounce transpire (audio) \
transpired; transpiring

Definition of transpire

intransitive verb

1 : to take place : go on, occur
2a : to become known or apparent : develop
b : to be revealed : come to light
3 : to give off vaporous material specifically : to give off or exude watery vapor especially from the surfaces of leaves
4 : to pass in the form of a vapor from a living body

transitive verb

: to pass off or give passage to (a fluid) through pores or interstices especially : to excrete (a fluid, such as water) in the form of a vapor through a living membrane (such as the skin)

Keep scrolling for more

Can transpire mean 'to occur'?: Usage Guide

Sense 1 of transpire is the frequent whipping boy of those who suppose sense 2 to be the only meaning of the word. Sense 1 appears to have developed in the late 18th century; it was well enough known to have been used by Abigail Adams in a letter to her husband in 1775. there is nothing new transpired since I wrote you last — Abigail Adams Noah Webster recognized the new sense in his dictionary of 1828. Transpire was evidently a popular word with 19th century journalists; sense 1 turns up in such pretentiously worded statements as "The police drill will transpire under shelter to-day in consequence of the moist atmosphere prevailing." Around 1870 the sense began to be attacked as a misuse on the grounds of etymology, and modern critics echo the damnation of 1870. Sense 1 has been in existence for about two centuries; it is firmly established as standard; it occurs now primarily in serious prose, not the ostentatiously flamboyant prose typical of 19th century journalism.

Did you know?

Transpire came to life in the late 16th century and was originally used in technical contexts to describe the passage of vapor through the pores of a membrane. From this technical use developed a figurative sense: to escape from secrecy, or to become known. That sense was often used in ambiguous contexts and could be taken to mean happen. (For example, Emily Dickinson wrote in a letter, I long to see you once more ... to tell you of many things which have transpired since we parted.) Thus the to take place sense developed. Around 1870, usage critics began to attack this sense as a misuse, and modern critics occasionally echo that sentiment. But the sense has been common for two centuries and today is found in serious and polished prose.

Examples of transpire in a Sentence

No one will soon forget the historic events that transpired on that day. A plant transpires more freely on a hot dry day. Trees transpire water at a rapid rate.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Students, especially Black students, needed connection and support to process all that would transpire in the year since, but staying home and safe during the pandemic took precedence. Sandy Lewandowski, Star Tribune, 28 May 2021 Israel's tourism minister was scheduled to attend a panel at the conference on Gulf-Israeli tourism, but the panel was quietly renamed, and her visit to Dubai did not transpire. Aya Batrawy, USA TODAY, 17 May 2021 Of course, no one can predict what will actually transpire. oregonlive, 4 June 2021 Regardless, the final act in Merkel’s climate story will transpire over the coming months. Justin Worland, Time, 7 May 2021 The pandemic has created a fragile economy where anything could transpire. Brian H. Robb, Forbes, 4 May 2021 But broader adoption for making end-use parts, as opposed to prototypes, will take time and may never transpire to the degree industry bulls have prophesied. Laura Forman, WSJ, 23 Apr. 2021 Even when classes transpire remotely, the School of Rock is a considerable step up from learning guitar from YouTube, a hobby many adults took up to combat the 2020 quarantine blues. Melody Petersen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2021 Virus safety practices, capacity limits, and other changes will be in place, but many events in 2021 are slated to transpire in the way that’s fundamentally familiar: in person. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, 5 Apr. 2021

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

1597, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for transpire

Middle French transpirer, from Medieval Latin transpirare, from Latin trans- + spirare to breathe

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About transpire

Time Traveler for transpire

Time Traveler

The first known use of transpire was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About transpire

Statistics for transpire

Last Updated

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Transpire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transpire. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for transpire

transpire

verb

English Language Learners Definition of transpire

formal : to happen
formal : to become known
technical, of a plant : to have water evaporate from the surface of leaves

transpire

verb
trans·​pire | \ trans-ˈpīr How to pronounce transpire (audio) \
transpired; transpiring

Kids Definition of transpire

1 : to come to pass : happen Important events transpired that day.
2 : to become known or apparent It transpired that they had met before.
3 : to give off water vapor through openings in the leaves

More from Merriam-Webster on transpire

Nglish: Translation of transpire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of transpire for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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