[ tran-spahyuhr ]
/ trænˈspaɪər /
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See synonyms for: transpire / transpired on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), tran·spired, tran·spir·ing.
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), tran·spired, tran·spir·ing.
to emit or give off (waste matter, watery vapor, an odor, etc.) through the surface, as of the body or of leaves.
Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of transpire

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Middle French transpirer, from Medieval Latin trānspīrāre, equivalent to Latin trāns- trans- + spīrāre “to breathe”

historical usage of transpire

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.


tran·spir·a·ble, adjectivetran·spir·a·to·ry [tran-spahyr-uh-tawr-ee], /trænˈspaɪr əˌtɔr i/, adjectiveun·tran·spir·ing, adjective


evanesce, evaporate, liquefy, melt, thaw, transpire , vaporize
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use transpire in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for transpire

/ (trænˈspaɪə) /

(intr) to come to light; be known
(intr) 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 of transpire

transpirable, adjectivetranspiration (ˌtrænspəˈreɪʃən), nountranspiratory, adjective

Word Origin for transpire

C16: from Medieval Latin transpīrāre, from Latin trans- + spīrāre to breathe

usage for transpire

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
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