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Borrowed from Latin aspīrātus, perfect passive participle of aspīrō (breathe upon). Doublet of aspire.


  • noun and adjective
    • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈæs.pəɹ.ət/, /ˈæs.pɪ.ɹət/, /ˈæs.pə.ɹɪt/
    • (file)
  • verb
    • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈæs.pəɹ.eɪt/, /ˈæs.pɪ.ɹeɪt/
    • (US) IPA(key): /ˈæs.pə.ɹeɪt/, /ˈæs.pɪ.ɹeɪt/
    • (file)
  • (file)
  • (UK) Hyphenation: as‧pir‧ate
  • (US) Hyphenation: as‧pi‧rate


aspirate (plural aspirates)

  1. (linguistics) The puff of air accompanying the release of a plosive consonant.
  2. (linguistics) A sound produced by such a puff of air.
    • 1972, Leonard R. Palmer, Descriptive and Comparative Linguistics, page 50
      We now come to the so-called aspirate [h], which must be also classified as a fricative consonant.
  3. A mark of aspiration (#) used in Greek; the asper, or rough breathing.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bentley to this entry?)



aspirate (third-person singular simple present aspirates, present participle aspirating, simple past and past participle aspirated)

  1. (transitive) To remove a liquid or gas by means of suction.
    • 2003, Miep H. Helfrich et al. (eds.), Bone Research Protocols, page 430
      Scrape cells using a cell scraper and aspirate the resulting slurry into a 2.0-mL Eppendorf tube.
  2. (transitive) To inhale so as to draw something other than air into one's lungs.
  3. (transitive, intransitive, linguistics) To produce an audible puff of breath. especially following a consonant.
    • 1887, James Frederick Hodgetts, Greater England, page 33
      There is no doubt that the uncertainty about the letter H, which much defaces English in some classes of the community, is due entirely to Norman influence, for Frenchmen could not aspirate. Three words—hour, honor, heir, with compounds of them such as hourly, honourable, heirship, and the like, are quite enough to puzzle people who find H sometimes sounded, sometimes not.




aspirate (comparative more aspirate, superlative most aspirate)

  1. aspirated


Related termsEdit