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[as-puh-rey-shuh n] /ˌæs pəˈreɪ ʃən/
a strong desire, longing, or aim; ambition:
intellectual aspirations.
a goal or objective that is strongly desired:
The presidency has been his aspiration since boyhood.
the act of aspirating or breathing in.
  1. articulation accompanied by an audible puff of breath, as in the h -sound of how, or of when (hwen), or in the release of initial stops, as in the k -sound of key.
  2. the use of such a speech sound, or aspirate, in pronunciation.
  1. the act of removing a fluid, as pus or serum, from a cavity of the body, by a hollow needle or trocar connected with a suction syringe.
  2. the act of inhaling fluid or a foreign body into the bronchi and lungs, often after vomiting.
Origin of aspiration
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin aspīrātiōn- (stem of aspīrātiō). See aspirate, -ion
Related forms
aspirational, adjective
superaspiration, noun
1. yearning, craving. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for aspirations
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His returning vigour was strangely pacific in its aspirations.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • What aspirations toward a loftier life in the climbing beans?

    Days Off Henry Van Dyke
  • He felt an imaginative companionship with the aspirations of the Abbot.

    Sinister Street, vol. 1 Compton Mackenzie
  • Her thoughts, her hopes, her aspirations had all been changed.

    Hope and Have Oliver Optic
  • I am recommended to turn my aspirations to the abstract universal maid; but so far at least I cannot do it.

British Dictionary definitions for aspirations


strong desire to achieve something, such as success
the aim of such desire
  1. the act of breathing
  2. a breath
  1. the pronunciation of a stop with an audible and forceful release of breath
  2. the friction of the released breath
  3. an aspirated consonant
removal of air or fluid from a body cavity by suction
  1. the sucking of fluid or foreign matter into the air passages of the body
  2. the removal of air or fluid from the body by suction
Derived Forms
aspirational, adjective
aspiratory (əˈspaɪrətərɪ; -trɪ; ˈæspɪrətərɪ; -trɪ) adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for aspirations



1530s, "action of breathing into," from Latin aspirationem (nominative aspiratio), noun of action from past participle stem of aspirare (see aspire). Meaning "steadfast longing for a higher goal, earnest desire for something above one" is recorded from c.1600 (sometimes collectively, as aspirations).

late 14c., "action of aspirating," noun of action from aspirate (v.).



late 14c., "action of aspirating," noun of action from aspirate (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aspirations in Medicine

aspiration as·pi·ra·tion (ās'pə-rā'shən)

  1. The removal of a gas or fluid by suction.

  2. The sucking of fluid or a foreign body into the airway when drawing breath.

  3. A surgical technique used in the treatment of cataracts of the eye, in which an incision is made into the cornea, the lens capsule is severed, and the material of the lens is fragmented and aspirated by a needle.

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