- to secrete a salty, watery fluid from the sweat glands of the skin, especially when very warm as a result of strenuous exertion; sweat.
- to emit through pores; exude.
Origin of perspire
Examples from the Web for perspire
I was beginning to perspire; for the first time, I felt a flicker of anxiety.Ciao, Roma! Hello, Newark!
January 6, 2011
You should just have seen him giving her abominable thrashings, which made her perspire all over.L'Assommoir
He can perspire in December, when the furnace is out and the windows are open.Philo Gubb Correspondence-School Detective
Ellis Parker Butler
Sol commenced to perspire afresh, and to hop from one foot on to the other.The Spoilers of the Valley
The hand in which she then put hers was soft and warm and she feared that it might perspire.The Paliser case
You must walk or work until you perspire freely, every day of the week.
- to secrete or exude (perspiration) through the pores of the skin
Word Origin and History for perspire
1640s, "to evaporate through the pores," a back-formation from perspiration and in part from Latin perspirare "to breathe, to blow constantly" (see perspiration). Meaning "to sweat" is a polite usage attested from 1725. Medical men tried to maintain a distinction between "sensible" (sweat) and "insensible" perspiration:
[I]t is sufficient for common use to observe, that perspiration is that insensible discharge of vapour from the whole surface of the body and the lungs which is constantly going on in a healthy state; that it is always natural and always salutary; that sweat, on the contrary, is an evacuation, which never appears without some uncommon effort, or some disease to the system, that it weakens and relaxes, and is so far from coinciding with perspiration, that it obstructs and checks it. [Charles White, "A Treatise on the Management of Pregnant and Lying-in Women," London, 1791]
Related: Perspired; perspiring.
- To excrete perspiration through the pores of the skin.