Definition of aspiration in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌaspəˈrāSH(ə)n/


1 (usually aspirations) A hope or ambition of achieving something: he had nothing tangible to back up his literary aspirations the yawning gulf between aspiration and reality
More example sentences
  • In my inauguration speech last year I expressed my hopes and aspirations for the year.
  • It spoke of the hurt as well as the hopes and aspirations of an underclass.
  • As a consequence the works do not seem to have much relevance to the needs and aspirations of the local community.
desire, hope, dream, wish, longing, yearning;
aim, ambition, expectation, goal, target
1.1The object of one’s hope or ambition; a goal: fabrics and oriental rugs were my aspirations
More example sentences
  • These days, marriage for life is a pleasant thought, a worthwhile aspiration and a goal to aim for, but that's all.
  • If the will to live exists, it may be deeply affected by core life issues, specifically questions of aspiration, goals, purposes and personal meaning.
  • There's no real concrete aspiration or goal as of yet.
2 Medicine The action or process of drawing breath.
Example sentences
  • These factors lead to either inhalation or aspiration of pathogens into the respiratory tract.
2.1The action of drawing fluid by suction from a vessel or cavity.
Example sentences
  • Ultrasonography or aspiration must be used to establish a definitive diagnosis.
  • Imaging-guided aspiration of fluid collections is another diagnostic aid.
  • A 20-or 30-mL syringe should be used to provide optimal suction for aspiration.
3 Phonetics The action of pronouncing a sound with an exhalation of breath.
Example sentences
  • If voicing is delayed, the voiceless region at the beginning of the vowel is known as aspiration.
  • She goes on to note that both English and Chinese make use of aspiration in their consonantal systems.


Late Middle English (sense 3): from Latin aspiratio(n-), from the verb aspirare (see aspire).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: as·pi·ra·tion

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