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Borrowed from Middle French perspirer and its source Latin perspīrō (to breathe everywhere, blow constantly), from per (through) + spīrō (to breathe); see spirit.


  • IPA(key): /pə(ɹ)ˈspaɪə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪə(ɹ)


perspire (third-person singular simple present perspires, present participle perspiring, simple past and past participle perspired)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To emit (sweat or perspiration) through the skin's pores.
    Synonym: sweat
    I was perspiring freely after running the marathon.
    • 2010, Susan C. Karant-Nunn, The Reformation of Feeling:
      He lists forty reasons, mainly metaphorical, why Christ perspired blood, and his peroration takes twenty-two pages in print.
  2. (intransitive) To be evacuated or excreted, or to exude, through the pores of the skin.
    A fluid perspires.
  3. (transitive, intransitive, rare) To cause (someone) to sweat.
    Synonym: sweat
    • 2001, Salman Rushdie, Fury: A Novel, London: Jonathan Cape, →ISBN, page 3:
      Outside his window a long, humid summer, the first hot season of the third millennium, baked and perspired.
    • 2016, Pradip Chauhan, Love Stories, New Delhi: Educreation Publishing, →ISBN, page 48:
      We shook hands, he looked surprised to see me topless. I stimulated his mind. ¶ “Nice to meet you. My workout jogging perspired me a lot, so I removed the T-shirt.”

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