Definition of aspiration in English:

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Pronunciation: /aspəˈreɪʃ(ə)n/


1 (usually aspirations) A hope or ambition of achieving something: the needs and aspirations of the people [mass noun]: 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, longing, yearning, hankering, urge, wish;
aim, ambition, expectation, inclination, objective, goal, target, end, object, dream
informal yen, itch
2 [mass noun] 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: bathing solutions were changed by careful aspiration
More 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 [mass noun] Phonetics The action of pronouncing a sound with an exhalation of breath: there is no aspiration if the syllable begins with s
More 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 (in sense 3): from Latin aspiratio(n-), from the verb aspirare (see aspire).

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