Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

aspire

[uh-spahyuh r] /əˈspaɪər/
verb (used without object), aspired, aspiring.
1.
to long, aim, or seek ambitiously; be eagerly desirous, especially for something great or of high value (usually followed by to, after, or an infinitive):
to aspire after literary immortality; to aspire to be a doctor.
2.
Archaic. to rise up; soar; mount; tower.
Origin of aspire
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English (< Middle French aspirer) < Latin aspīrāre to breathe upon, pant after, equivalent to a- a-5 + spīrāre to breathe, blow
Related forms
aspirer, noun
aspiringly, adverb
nonaspiring, adjective
unaspiring, adjective
unaspiringly, adverb
Synonyms
1. yearn.
Synonym Study
1. See ambitious
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for aspire
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She could not aspire to be one of them, but she could be loyal, she could "stick up" for them.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • Man cannot aspire if he look down; if he will rise, he must look up.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • Why should you aspire to pluck the flower which has grown up amongst us?

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • We aspire to the top to look for Rest; it lies at the bottom.

    Pax Vobiscum Henry Drummond
  • Pride and ambition had led him to aspire to the crown which was settled on Shaddai's Son.

    Bunyan

    James Anthony Froude
British Dictionary definitions for aspire

aspire

/əˈspaɪə/
verb (intransitive)
1.
usually foll by to or after. to yearn (for) or have a powerful or ambitious plan, desire, or hope (to do or be something): to aspire to be a great leader
2.
to rise to a great height
Derived Forms
aspirer, noun
aspiring, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin aspīrāre to breathe upon, from spīrāre to breathe
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 aspire
v.

"to strive for," c.1400, from Old French aspirer "aspire to; inspire; breathe, breathe on" (12c.), from Latin aspirare "to breathe upon, to breathe," also, in transferred senses, "to be favorable to, assist; to climb up to, to endeavor to obtain, to reach to, to seek to reach; infuse," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit (n.)). The notion is of "panting with desire," or perhaps of rising smoke. Related: Aspired; aspiring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for aspire

Word Value for aspire

8
9
Scrabble Words With Friends