[ verb as-puh-reyt; noun, adjective, as-per-it ]

verb (used with object),as·pi·rat·ed, as·pi·rat·ing.
  1. Phonetics.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • to remove (a fluid) from a body cavity by use of an aspirator or suction syringe.

    • to inhale (fluid or a foreign body) into the bronchi and lungs, often after vomiting.

  1. to draw or remove by suction.

  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.

  1. Phonetics. (of a speech sound) pronounced with or accompanied by aspiration; aspirated.

Origin of aspirate

First recorded in 1660–70; from Latin aspīrātus “breathed upon” (past participle of aspīrāre ); see origin at aspire, -ate1

Other words from aspirate

  • non·as·pi·rate, noun, adjective
  • non·as·pi·rat·ed, adjective
  • non·as·pi·rat·ing, adjective
  • un·as·pi·rat·ed, adjective

Words that may be confused with aspirate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use aspirate in a sentence

  • The changes on the beginning of nouns are made by aspirating an initial consonant; that is, writing h after it.

    Elements of Gaelic Grammar | Alexander Stewart

British Dictionary definitions for aspirate


verb(ˈæspɪˌreɪt) (tr)
  1. phonetics

    • to articulate (a stop) with some force, so that breath escapes with audible friction as the stop is released

    • 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

  1. to supply air to (an internal-combustion engine)

  1. phonetics

    • a stop pronounced with an audible release of breath

    • the glottal fricative represented in English and several other languages as h

  1. 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