Synonym Chooser

How is the word aspiration different from other nouns like it?

The words ambition and pretension are common synonyms of aspiration. While all three words mean "strong desire for advancement," aspiration implies a striving after something higher than oneself.

an aspiration to become president someday

When is it sensible to use ambition instead of aspiration?

Although the words ambition and aspiration have much in common, ambition applies to the desire for personal advancement or preferment and may suggest equally a praiseworthy or an inordinate desire.

driven by ambition

In what contexts can pretension take the place of aspiration?

While in some cases nearly identical to aspiration, pretension suggests ardent desire for recognition of accomplishment often without actual possession of the necessary ability and therefore may imply presumption.

has literary pretensions

Thesaurus Entries Near aspiration

Cite this Entry

“Aspiration.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on aspiration

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