verb (used without object), as·pired, as·pir·ing.

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.
Archaic. to rise up; soar; mount; tower.

Origin of aspire

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 formsas·pir·er, nounas·pir·ing·ly, adverbnon·as·pir·ing, adjectiveun·as·pir·ing, adjectiveun·as·pir·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for aspire

1. yearn.

Synonym study

1. See ambitious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for aspired

pursue, crave, yearn, strive, desire, seek, long, hanker, try, struggle, want, wish, dream

Examples from the Web for aspired

Contemporary Examples of aspired

Historical Examples of aspired

  • For a moment at least he looked like the King which he aspired to be.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • If he had been fit for the high destiny he aspired to—if he had been fit to be a judge, he would not have fallen.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • It savoured of servitude to his mind, and who was this same Pippo who aspired to be his master?

    Gerald Fitzgerald

    Charles James Lever

  • I have aspired to his method, but realize it is impossible for me.

  • I did not tell you that I aspired to the honour of marrying her.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

British Dictionary definitions for aspired


verb (intr)

(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
to rise to a great height
Derived Formsaspirer, nounaspiring, adjective

Word Origin for aspire

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

Word Origin and History for aspired



"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