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[tran-spahyuh r] /trænˈspaɪər/
verb (used without object), transpired, transpiring.
to occur; happen; take place.
to emit or give off waste matter, watery vapor, etc., through the surface, as of the body or of leaves.
to escape, as moisture or odor, through or as if through pores.
to be revealed or become known.
verb (used with object), transpired, transpiring.
to emit or give off (waste matter, watery vapor, an odor, etc.) through the surface, as of the body or of leaves.
Origin of transpire
1590-1600; < Middle French transpirer < Medieval Latin trānspīrāre, equivalent to Latin trāns- trans- + spīrāre to breathe
Related forms
transpirable, adjective
[tran-spahyr-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /trænˈspaɪr əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
untranspired, adjective
untranspiring, adjective
Can be confused
Usage note
1. From its earlier literal sense “to escape as vapor” transpire came to mean “to escape from concealment, become known” in the 18th century. Somewhat later, it developed the meaning “to occur, happen,” a sentence such as He was not aware of what had transpired yesterday being taken to mean He was not aware of what had happened yesterday. In spite of two centuries of use in all varieties of speech and writing, this now common meaning is still objected to by some on the grounds that it arose from a misapprehension of the word's true meaning. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for transpired
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But it transpired that there was something preparatory to that, or at least that must take the precedence.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • Now Bulan had been an interested witness of all that transpired.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • When he departed presently it transpired that the girl was unaquainted with that tongue.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • And afterwards it transpired that by shooting himself at that time he saved my money.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • What then transpired was not a fight, for in armament the two were quite unequal.

British Dictionary definitions for transpired


(intransitive) to come to light; be known
(intransitive) (informal) to happen or occur
(physiol) to give off or exhale (water or vapour) through the skin, a mucous membrane, etc
(of plants) to lose (water in the form of water vapour), esp through the stomata of the leaves
Derived Forms
transpirable, adjective
transpiration (ˌtrænspəˈreɪʃən) noun
transpiratory, adjective
Usage note
It is often maintained that transpire should not be used to mean happen or occur, as in the event transpired late in the evening, and that the word is properly used to mean become known, as in it transpired later that the thief had been caught. The word is, however, widely used in the former sense, esp in spoken English
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin transpīrāre, from Latin trans- + 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
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Word Origin and History for transpired



1590s, "pass off in the form of a vapor or liquid," from Middle French transpirer (mid-16c.), from Latin trans- "through" (see trans-) + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit). Figurative sense of "leak out, become known" is recorded from 1741, and the erroneous meaning "take place, happen" is almost as old, being first recorded 1755. Related: Transpired; transpiring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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