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See also: aspiré
From Middle English aspiren, from Old French aspirer, from Latin aspirare (“breathe on; approach; desire”).
- (UK) IPA(key): /əˈspaɪə(ɹ)/
- (US) IPA(key): /əˈspaɪɚ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -aɪə(ɹ)
- Hyphenation: as‧pire
aspire (third-person singular simple present aspires, present participle aspiring, simple past and past participle aspired)
- (intransitive) To have a strong desire or ambition to achieve something.
- to aspire to / for / after / to do something; to aspire that something happens
- He aspires to become a successful doctor.
- We aspire that the world will be a better place.
- Synonyms: crave, pursue, strive, yearn, dream
- 1613 (date written), William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene ii]:
- There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to, / That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, / More pangs and fears than wars or women have:
- 1733, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Man. […], epistle 1, London: Printed for J[ohn] Wilford, […], →OCLC, line 131-132, page 14:
- Aspiring to be Gods, if Angels fell, / Aspiring to be Angels, Men rebell:
- 1813 January 27, [Jane Austen], chapter 14, in Pride and Prejudice, volume (please specify |volume=I to III), London: […] [George Sidney] for T[homas] Egerton […], →OCLC, page 246:
- This match, to which you have the presumption to aspire, can never take place.
- 1969, Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, New York: Random House, Chapter 23, pp. 177-178,
- We were maids and farmers, handymen and washerwomen, and anything higher that we aspired to was farcical and presumptuous.
- 2014, Damon Galgut, Arctic Summer, London: Atlantic Books, Chapter 2, p. 48,
- His own desire repulsed him. Though if he could not aspire to purity, then he was sufficiently aware of what his mother and certain others might think, not to give in to baseness.
- (transitive, obsolete) To go as high as, to reach the top of (something).
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], part 1, 2nd edition, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
- Thus ſhall my heart be ſtil combinde with thine, / Untill our bodies turne to Elements: / And both our ſoules aſpire celeſtiall thrones.
- c. 1591–1595 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i]:
- Mercutio’s dead! / That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,
- c. 1608, George Chapman, The Conspiracy and Tragedy of Charles, Duke of Byron, London: Thomas Thorppe, Act I, Scene 1,
- rockes so high / That birds could scarce aspire their ridgy toppes
- c. 1613 (first performance), John Fletcher, “The Tragedie of Bonduca”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: […] Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, →OCLC, Act IV, scene iv:
- She’s vitious; and your partiall selves confesse, / aspires the height of all impietie:
- (intransitive, archaic, literary) To move upward; to be very tall.
- 1589–1592 (date written), Ch[ristopher] Marl[owe], The Tragicall History of D. Faustus. […], London: […] V[alentine] S[immes] for Thomas Bushell, published 1604, →OCLC; republished as Hermann Breymann, editor, Doctor Faustus (Englische Sprach- und Literaturdenkmale des 16., 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts; 5; Marlowes Werke: Historisch-kritische Ausgabe […]; II), Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg: Verlag von Gebr[üder] Henninger, 1889, →OCLC, scene VIII:
- In midst of which a sumptuous Temple stands, / That threats the starres with her aspiring toppe.
- 1794, Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho, London: G.G. and J. Robinson, Volume 1, Chapter 4, p. 116,
- As they descended, they saw […] one of the grand passes of the Pyreneáes into Spain, gleaming with its battlements and towers to the splendour of the setting rays, yellow tops of woods colouring the steeps below, while far above aspired the snowy points of the mountains, still reflecting a rosy hue.
- 1844, Edgar Allan Poe, “Dream-Land” in Graham’s Magazine, Volume 25, No. 6, June, 1844, p. 256,
- Seas that restlessly aspire, / Surging, unto skies of fire;
- 1979, Cormac McCarthy, Suttree, New York: Vintage, 1992, p. 4,
- There is a moonshaped rictus in the streetlamp’s globe where a stone has gone and from this aperture there drifts down through the constant helix of aspiring insects a faint and steady rain of the same forms burnt and lifeless.
to hope or dream
- inflection of aspirer:
- inflection of aspirar:
- inflection of aspirar:
- English terms inherited from Middle English
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