From Middle English aspect, from Latin aspectus (look, sight; appearance), from aspiciō (see; catch sight of; inspect), from ad- (to, towards, at) + speciō (look, look at, behold; observe).


  • IPA(key): /ˈæspɛkt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: as‧pect


aspect (plural aspects)

  1. Any specific feature, part, or element of something.
    Synonym: facet
    Japan's aging population is an important aspect of its economy.
  2. The way something appears when viewed from a certain direction or perspective.
    • 1991, William Dunning, Changing Images of Pictorial Space: A History of Spatial Illusion in Painting[1], page 36:
      Given the limitations of planar representation [] The painter is constantly forced to choose one aspect over the other.
  3. The way something appears when considered from a certain point of view.
    • 2016, Chenyang Li, “Care and justice: Reading Mencius, Kant, and Gilligan comparatively”, in Ann A. Pang-White, editor, The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender[2], page 128:
      “Perspective” can be understood in different ways. It can mean a single aspect from which something is considered or evaluated; it can also mean a view from a relation between aspects of a subject.
  4. A phase or a partial, but significant view or description of something.
  5. One's appearance or expression. [from 16th c.]
    Synonyms: appearance, look, blee
  6. Position or situation with regard to seeing; that position which enables one to look in a particular direction; position in relation to the points of the compass.
    The house has a southern aspect, i.e. a position which faces the south.
  7. Prospect; outlook.
    • 1643, John Evelyn, Diary
      This town affords a good aspect toward the hill from whence we descended ; nor does it deceive us ; for it is handsomely built ...
  8. (grammar) A grammatical quality of a verb which determines the relationship of the speaker to the internal temporal flow of the event which the verb describes, or whether the speaker views the event from outside as a whole, or from within as it is unfolding. [from 19th c.]
  9. (astrology) The relative position of heavenly bodies as they appear to an observer on earth; the angular relationship between points in a horoscope. [from 14th c.]
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book X, lines 656 to 664.
      [] To the blanc moon / Her office they prescribed; to the other five / Their planetary motions, and aspects, / In sextile, square, and trine, and opposite, / Of noxious efficacy, and when to join / In synod unbenign; and taught the fix'd / their influence malignant when to shower, / Which of them rising with the sun, or falling / Should prove tempestuous: []
    • 1683, George Wharton, “Of the Planetary Aspects, both Old and New, their Characters, and Æquations”, in John Gadbury, editor, The Works of that Late Most Excellent Philosopher and Astronomer, Sir George Wharton, Bar[onet]. Collected into One Entire Volume, London: Printed by H. H. for John Leigh, at Stationers Hall, OCLC 6498633, page 90:
      Kepler (the Lyncæus of the laſt Age) defines an Aſpect in this manner: Aſpectus eſt Angulus à Radiis Luminoſis binorum Planetarum in terra formatus, efficax ad ſtimulandum naturam ſublunarem. It is (ſaith he) an Angle made in the Earth by the Luminous Beams of two Planets, of ſtrength to ſtir up the vertue of all ſublunary things.
  10. (religion, mythology) The personified manifestation of a deity that represents one or more of its characteristics or functions.
    • 1995, V.P. Kanitkar, W. Owen Cole, Hinduism — An Introduction:
      The Mother Goddess in her many manifestations is termed Shakti, the female energy in creation, and worshipped as the supreme female aspect of Brahman.
  11. (obsolete) The act of looking at something; gaze. [14th-19th c.]
    • 1590, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, 924:
      The tradition is no less ancient, that the basilisk killeth by aspect ; and that the wolf, if he see a man first, by aspect striketh a man hoarse.
    • 1820, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, Chapter 1:
      ... his aspect was bent on the ground with an appearance of deep dejection, which might be almost construed into apathy, ...
  12. (obsolete) Appearance to the eye or the mind; look; view.
    • 1684, Thomas Burnet, The Theory of the Earth, Vol 1, Chapter IX.
      They are both in my judgment the image or picture of a great Ruine, and have the true aspect of a World lying in its rubbish.
    • 1855, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James II, Vol. IV, Chapter XVIII
      Three days later he opened the parliament. The aspect of affairs was, on the whole, cheering.
  13. (programming) In aspect-oriented programming, a feature or component that can be applied to parts of a program independent of any inheritance hierarchy.
  14. (rail transport) The visual indication of a colour light (or mechanical) signal as displayed to the driver. With colour light signals this would be red, yellow or green.
    • 1961 December, “Planning the London Midland main-line electrification”, in Trains Illustrated, page 719:
      The whole of the main lines to be electrified were being equipped with four-aspect colour-light signals, automatically operated, where appropriate, and spaced to give a 5min headway throughout.
    • 2019 October, “'442s' withdrawn due to signal interaction issues”, in Modern Railways, page 87:
      SWR [South Western Railway] said the move was a precautionary measure, understood to relate to electromagnetic emissions from the fleet causing changes of signal aspect in front of moving trains.


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit


aspect (third-person singular simple present aspects, present participle aspecting, simple past and past participle aspected)

  1. (astrology, of a planet) To have a particular aspect or type of aspect.
  2. (Wicca) To channel a divine being.
  3. (obsolete) To look at.




Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nl


From Middle Dutch aspect, from Middle French aspect, from Latin aspectus.


  • IPA(key): /ɑˈspɛkt/, /ɑsˈpɛkt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: as‧pect
  • Rhymes: -ɛkt


aspect n (plural aspecten, diminutive aspectje n)

  1. aspect, element
  2. aspect, appearance
  3. (linguistics) aspect (grammatical category)

Derived termsEdit


  • Afrikaans: aspek
  • Indonesian: aspek



Borrowed from Latin aspectus. The grammatical sense is a semantic loan from Russian вид (vid).



aspect m (plural aspects)

  1. aspect
  2. (grammar) aspect (grammatical quality of a verb)

Further readingEdit



Borrowed from French aspect, Latin aspectus.


aspect n (plural aspecte)

  1. aspect, look