Borrowed from Middle French transpirer, from Medieval Latin transpirare (“to breathe through”), from Latin trans (“across”) spirare (“to breathe”). The sense “to become known” is also present in French, while the sense “to happen” is not; the latter probably developed in English from the former.
- (transitive, intransitive) To give off (vapour, waste matter etc.); to exhale (an odour etc.). [from 16th c.]
- (obsolete, intransitive) To perspire. [17th–19th c.]
- Synonym: sweat
- (botany, intransitive) Of plants, to give off water and waste products through the stomata. [from 17th c.]
- (intransitive) To become known; to escape from secrecy. [from 18th c.]
- Synonym: come to light
- It eventually transpired that the murder victim had been a notorious blackmailer.
- 1832, Thomas De Quincey, Klosterheim Or, the Masque:
- The story of Paulina's and Maximilian's mutual attachment had transpired through many of the travellers.
- 1839, Edmund Burke, The Annual Register of World Events:
- Hubert then recommends M. Leproux to be punctual to meet him at the rendezvous agreed on between them, where a third individual, whose name did not transpire, was to join them.
- (loosely, intransitive) To happen, take place. [from 18th c.]
- 2018 September 21, Mark Rice-Oxley, “Don't mention the R-word”, in The Guardian:
- But there is a school of thought that holds that the more you talk about recession, the more likely it is to transpire.
The meaning happen, occur possibly arose from a misinterpretation of the word's use in the meaning become known, figuratively drawn from the original exude (vapour, etc.). Claiming it to be wrong and affected, certain critics discourage use in this sense. Meanwhile, it is traceable to the 18th and has been common since the 19th century.
- inflection of :