aspire

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See also: aspiré

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English aspiren, from Old French aspirer, from Latin aspirare (breathe on; approach; desire). Doublet of aspirate.

Pronunciation[edit]

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

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (intransitive) To have a strong desire or ambition to achieve something.
    to aspire to / for / after something; to aspire to do something
    He aspires to become a successful doctor.
    • c. 1612, William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, Henry VIII, Act III, Scene 2,[1]
      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, London: J. Wilford, Epistle 1, lines 131-132, p. 14,[2]
      Aspiring to be Gods, if Angels fell,
      Aspiring to be Angels, Men rebell:
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, London: T. Egerton, Volume 3, Chapter 14, p. 246,[3]
      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,[4]
      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,[5]
      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.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To go as high as, to reach the top of (something).
    Synonyms: ascend, mount
  3. (intransitive, archaic, literary) To move upward; to be very tall.
    Synonyms: ascend, rise, soar, tower
    • c. 1592, Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, London: Thomas Bushell, 1604, [Scene 8],[9]
      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,[10]
      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,[11]
      Seas that restlessly aspire, / Surging, unto skies of fire;
    • 1979, Cormac McCarthy, Suttree, New York: Vintage, 1992, p. 4,[12]
      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.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Asturian[edit]

Verb[edit]

aspire

  1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive of aspirar

French[edit]

Verb[edit]

aspire

  1. inflection of aspirer:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

Anagrams[edit]


Galician[edit]

Verb[edit]

aspire

  1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive of aspirar

Portuguese[edit]

Verb[edit]

aspire

  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

Romanian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

aspire

  1. third-person singular present subjunctive of aspira
  2. third-person plural present subjunctive of aspira

Spanish[edit]

Verb[edit]

aspire

  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.