Definition of aspirate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈaspəreɪt/
[with object]
1 (often as adjective aspirated) Phonetics Pronounce (a sound) with an exhalation of breath: the aspirated allophone of p occurs in ‘pie
More example sentences
  • If there is a substantial lag between the release of the closure of a stop or the end of the frication of an affricate, and the onset of voicing in the vowel, it is said to be aspirated.
  • Mandarin Chinese has just two series of stops and affricates, one aspirated, the other unaspirated.
  • ‘I've said it once and I'll say it again,’ one of them aspirates huffily.
1.1 [no object] Pronounce the sound of h at the beginning of a word: Londoners are always aspirating where they should not, and never aspirating where they should
2 Medicine Breathe (something) in; inhale: some drowning victims don’t aspirate any water
More example sentences
  • Many foods can be dangerous for small children since they can aspirate the items, which will result in blockage of the breathing passages.
  • By this time he had started to cough and was aspirating fluids.
  • Blood should be cultured from all patients who have aspirated water.
2.1Draw (fluid) by suction from a vessel or cavity: bile was aspirated through a catheter
More example sentences
  • Fresh blood was aspirated from the nasogastric tube.
  • Fluid is easily aspirated when the needle is properly positioned.
  • The fluid was aspirated by immediate gentle hand suction applied to the instilling syringe after each instillation.
3 (usually as adjective aspirated) Provide (an internal combustion engine) with air: the superchargers produce twice the power of standard aspirated engines See also normally aspirated.
More example sentences
  • The use of a homogenous intake charge lessens the chance of detonation, making it possible to run higher compression ratios on both naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines.
  • The new generation produces about the same horsepower, naturally aspirated, as the old turbocharged engine.
  • Versions of the engine will be both naturally aspirated and turbocharged and applications will include front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive, as well as hybrid vehicles.


Pronunciation: /ˈasp(ə)rət/
1 Phonetics An aspirated consonant.
Example sentences
  • They can't seem to handle hard aspirates at all, and sibilants are difficult for them.
  • In fact, air flow continues at a very high rate for a very long time in these sounds relative to aspirates.
1.1A sound of h.
Example sentences
  • Conversely, there is often an intrusive aspirate between vowels, as in ‘cre-haytion’ for creation and ‘hi-haytus’ for hiatus.
  • She fires off the cleanest and most articulated runs without a trace of strain or unwanted aspirates.
  • And the Sindhu of Sanskrit became Hindhu or Hindu in Persian, following the practice of changing ‘S’ into an aspirate in Persian.
2 [mass noun] Medicine Matter that has been drawn from the body by suction: gastric aspirate [count noun]: oesophageal aspirates
More example sentences
  • Bronchial aspirate were obtained by aseptic technique using a sterile suction catheter each time.
  • Iron staining of the bone marrow aspirate revealed increased storage iron.
  • To confirm a suspected second relapse, a bone marrow aspirate and core biopsy were performed.


Pronunciation: /ˈasp(ə)rət/
(Of a sound) pronounced with an exhalation of breath; aspirated.
Example sentences
  • For instance, aspirated consonants are written with a small superscript h after the symbol for the corresponding unaspirated consonant.
  • Alongside the general schema for a syllable-onset consonant, however, there exist more specific schemas concerning individual sounds (such as p), classes of sounds (the aspirated stops), and so on.
  • So let's practice distinguishing ejective from aspirated stops, okay class?


Mid 16th century (as an adjective): from Latin aspiratus 'breathed', past participle of aspirare (see aspire).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: as¦pir|ate

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