Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[verb as-puh-reyt; noun, adjective, as-per-it] /verb ˈæs pəˌreɪt; noun, adjective, ˈæs pər ɪt/
verb (used with object), aspirated, aspirating.
  1. to articulate (a speech sound, especially a stop) so as to produce an audible puff of breath, as with the first t of total, the second t being unaspirated.
  2. to articulate (the beginning of a word or syllable) with an h -sound, as in which, pronounced (hwich), or hitch as opposed to witch or itch.
  1. to remove (a fluid) from a body cavity by use of an aspirator or suction syringe.
  2. to inhale (fluid or a foreign body) into the bronchi and lungs, often after vomiting.
to draw or remove by suction.
Phonetics. a speech sound having as an obvious concomitant an audible puff of breath, as initial stop consonants or initial h -sounds.
Medicine/Medical. the substance or contents that have been aspirated.
Phonetics. (of a speech sound) pronounced with or accompanied by aspiration; aspirated.
Origin of aspirate
1660-70; < Latin aspīrātus breathed upon (past participle of aspīrāre). See aspire, -ate1
Related forms
nonaspirate, noun, adjective
nonaspirated, adjective
nonaspirating, adjective
unaspirated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for aspirate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Take another similarly prepared pipette and aspirate into it equal volumes of washed cells, bacterial emulsion and pooled serum.

  • The aspirate is rarely misplaced, unless by a recent immigrant.

  • Sometimes the aspirate is transferred from the Adj. to the Conjunct.

    Elements of Gaelic Grammar Alexander Stewart
  • Second, the aspirate (h as in have), which is generally condemned.

    The Psychology of Singing David C. Taylor
  • "I shall be happy for one," said Mrs. Clerihew, laying stress on the aspirate.

    Brother Copas Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • "Monsieur Reetchie, you are my friend, my intimate" (he put an aspirate on the word).

    The Crossing Winston Churchill
  • I am not familiar enough with the early grammarians to know when the terms lene and aspirate were first used.

    The English Language Robert Gordon Latham
  • The aspirate, however, was too frequently omitted or misplaced.

    Wenderholme Philip Gilbert Hamerton
British Dictionary definitions for aspirate


verb (transitive) (ˈæspɪˌreɪt)
  1. to articulate (a stop) with some force, so that breath escapes with audible friction as the stop is released
  2. to pronounce (a word or syllable) with an initial h
to draw in or remove by inhalation or suction, esp to suck (air or fluid) from a body cavity or to inhale (fluid) into the lungs after vomiting
to supply air to (an internal-combustion engine)
noun (ˈæspɪrɪt)
  1. a stop pronounced with an audible release of breath
  2. the glottal fricative represented in English and several other languages as h
adjective (ˈæspɪrɪt)
(phonetics) (of a stop) pronounced with a forceful and audible expulsion of breath
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for aspirate

1725, "sound of the letter 'H'," especially at the beginning of a word, from Latin aspiratio "a breathing, exhalation, the pronunciation of the letter H" (see aspire).


"to pronounce with audible breath," 1700; perhaps a back-formation from aspiration (n.2), or from French aspirer (1520s), or directly from Latin aspiratus, past participle of aspirare (see aspire). Related: Aspirated; aspirating.


"to pronounce with audible breath," 1700; perhaps a back-formation from aspiration (n.2), or from French aspirer (1520s), or directly from Latin aspiratus, past participle of aspirare (see aspire). Related: Aspirated; aspirating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
aspirate in Medicine

aspirate as·pi·rate (ās'pə-rāt')
v. as·pi·rat·ed, as·pi·rat·ing, as·pi·rates
To take in or remove by aspiration. n. (-pər-ĭt)
A substance removed by aspiration.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for aspirate

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for aspirate

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for aspirate