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[as-puh-rey-shuh n] /ˌæs pəˈreɪ ʃən/
strong desire, longing, or aim; ambition:
intellectual aspirations.
a goal or objective desired:
The presidency is the traditional aspiration of young American boys.
act of aspirating; breath.
  1. articulation accompanied by an audible puff of breath, as in the h -sound of how, or of when (hwen), or in the release of initial stops, as in the k -sound of key.
  2. the use of an aspirate in pronunciation.
  1. the act of removing a fluid, as pus or serum, from a cavity of the body, by a hollow needle or trocar connected with a suction syringe.
  2. the act of inhaling fluid or a foreign body into the bronchi and lungs, often after vomiting.
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin aspīrātiōn- (stem of aspīrātiō). See aspirate, -ion
Related forms
aspirational, adjective
superaspiration, noun
1. yearning, craving. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for aspirational
  • Our students are poised to achieve their aspirational goals and through relevant and effective learning experiences.
  • Yet there is not enough to feed the rich, the aspirational and the poor in the world.
  • And it is better at addressing the aspirations of an aspirational people.
  • The programme looks good on college applications and gives aspirational types a chance to watch their heroes in action.
  • And golf may not be quite the aspirational pursuit it used to be.
  • Even in the poorest parts of the world, a modern kitchen seems to have particular aspirational value.
  • And successive governments have survived by pandering to such an aspirational electorate.
  • The truth about lies is that they're sometimes aspirational truths.
  • For a chain their size, too few aspirational properties.
  • It's snobby and grossly aspirational, but it's true.
British Dictionary definitions for aspirational


strong desire to achieve something, such as success
the aim of such desire
  1. the act of breathing
  2. a breath
  1. the pronunciation of a stop with an audible and forceful release of breath
  2. the friction of the released breath
  3. an aspirated consonant
removal of air or fluid from a body cavity by suction
  1. the sucking of fluid or foreign matter into the air passages of the body
  2. the removal of air or fluid from the body by suction
Derived Forms
aspirational, adjective
aspiratory (əˈspaɪrətərɪ; -trɪ; ˈæspɪrətərɪ; -trɪ) adjective
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
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Contemporary definitions for aspirational

ambitious; desirous of success


She makes aspirational purchases of self-help books.'s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for aspirational



1530s, "action of breathing into," from Latin aspirationem (nominative aspiratio), noun of action from past participle stem of aspirare (see aspire). Meaning "steadfast longing for a higher goal, earnest desire for something above one" is recorded from c.1600 (sometimes collectively, as aspirations).

late 14c., "action of aspirating," noun of action from aspirate (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aspirational in Medicine

aspiration as·pi·ra·tion (ās'pə-rā'shən)

  1. The removal of a gas or fluid by suction.

  2. The sucking of fluid or a foreign body into the airway when drawing breath.

  3. A surgical technique used in the treatment of cataracts of the eye, in which an incision is made into the cornea, the lens capsule is severed, and the material of the lens is fragmented and aspirated by a needle.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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