Definition of aspirate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈaspəˌrāt/
[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 h at the beginning of a word.
2 Medicine Draw (fluid) by suction from a vessel or cavity.
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.
2.1Breathe (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.
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.
1.1The sound h or a character used to represent this sound.
Example sentences
  • He was a ‘sobber,’ and many of his phrases are broken or studded with unnecessary (but very emotional!) aspirates.
2 Medicine Matter that has been drawn from the body by aspiration: gastric aspirate esophageal 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/
Phonetics , rare
(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

Syllabification: as·pi·rate

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