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Borrowed from Old French aspirer, from Latin aspirare, present active infinitive of aspiro. Doublet of aspirate.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /əˈspaɪə(ɹ)/
  • (US) IPA(key): /əˈspaɪɚ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪə(ɹ)
  • Hyphenation: as‧pire


aspire (third-person singular simple present aspires, present participle aspiring, simple past and past participle aspired)

  1. (intransitive) To hope or dream; especially to hope or work towards a profession or occupation (followed by to as a preposition or infinitive particle).
    He aspires to become a successful doctor.
    • Alexander Pope
      Aspiring to be angels, men rebel.
    • 1733, [Alexander Pope], “Epistle I”, in An Essay on Man. Address’d to a Friend, new edition, London: Printed for J[ohn] Wilford, at the Three Flower-de-luces, behind the Chapter-house, S. Paul's, OCLC 228762650; republished as An Essay on Man. By Alexander Pope, Esq. A New Edition. To which is Prefixed a Critical Essay, by J[ohn] Aikin, M.D., London: Printed for T[homas] Cadell, Jun., and W. Davies, (successors to Mr. [Thomas] Cadell), Strand, 1796, OCLC 1008157997, stanza IX, lines 259–262, page 55:
      What if the foot, ordain'd the duſt to tread, / Or hand, to toil, aſpir'd to be the head? / What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd / To ſerve mere engines to the ruling mind; []
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To aspire to; to long for; to try to reach; to mount to.
    • Shakespeare
      That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds.
  3. To rise; to ascend; to tower; to soar.
    • Waller
      My own breath still foments the fire, / Which flames as high as fancy can aspire.

Related termsEdit









  1. first-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of aspirar
  2. third-person singular (ele and ela, also used with você and others) present subjunctive of aspirar
  3. third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of aspirar
  4. third-person singular (você) negative imperative of aspirar




  1. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of aspirar.
  2. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of aspirar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of aspirar.