Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

aspirate

[verb as-puh-reyt; noun, adjective, as-per-it]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), as·pi·rat·ed, as·pi·rat·ing.
  1. Phonetics.
    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.
  2. Medicine/Medical.
    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.
  3. to draw or remove by suction.
Show More
noun
  1. Phonetics. a speech sound having as an obvious concomitant an audible puff of breath, as initial stop consonants or initial h-sounds.
  2. Medicine/Medical. the substance or contents that have been aspirated.
Show More
adjective
  1. Phonetics. (of a speech sound) pronounced with or accompanied by aspiration; aspirated.
Show More

Origin of aspirate

1660–70; < Latin aspīrātus breathed upon (past participle of aspīrāre). See aspire, -ate1
Related formsnon·as·pi·rate, noun, adjectivenon·as·pi·rat·ed, adjectivenon·as·pi·rat·ing, adjectiveun·as·pi·rat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aspirates

Historical Examples

  • He explained that all aspirates are dropped in modern Greek.

    The Incomparable 29th and the "River Clyde"

    George Davidson

  • When excited Mrs. Marlings had some difficulty with her aspirates.

    Adventures of Bindle

    Herbert George Jenkins

  • In moments of rapid action the sergeant major evidently had difficulty with his aspirates.

  • He complained of the shut mouth, the claquement des dents, and the predominance of aspirates in our pronunciation.

  • The subvocals are sometimes called voice consonants and the aspirates breath consonants.

    Orthography

    Elmer W. Cavins


British Dictionary definitions for aspirates

aspirate

verb (ˈæspɪˌreɪt) (tr)
  1. phonetics
    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
  2. 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
  3. to supply air to (an internal-combustion engine)
Show More
noun (ˈæspɪrɪt)
  1. phonetics
    1. a stop pronounced with an audible release of breath
    2. the glottal fricative represented in English and several other languages as h
Show More
adjective (ˈæspɪrɪt)
  1. phonetics (of a stop) pronounced with a forceful and audible expulsion of breath
Show More
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

Word Origin and History for aspirates

aspirate

n.

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).

Show More

aspirate

v.

"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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

aspirates in Medicine

aspirate

(ăspə-rāt′)
v.
  1. To take in or remove by aspiration.
Show More
n.
  1. A substance removed by aspiration.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.