Definition of aspiration in English:



  • 1A hope or ambition of achieving something.

    ‘the needs and aspirations of the people’
    [mass noun] ‘the yawning gulf between aspiration and reality’
    • ‘It is always easy to achieve equality for the many if we keep our aspirations fairly low.’
    • ‘She works hard for the money, and she also has aspirations to move on up into management.’
    • ‘The survey would not only be of the buildings, but of the attitudes and aspirations of the community.’
    • ‘Until reality can catch up with aspirations, this emotional deprivation will continue.’
    • ‘In my inauguration speech last year I expressed my hopes and aspirations for the year.’
    • ‘Keep in mind your summer job does not have to be directly related to your career aspirations.’
    • ‘Most important of all it aims to return to us a human face, a set of wants and needs, of aspirations and desires.’
    • ‘It amuses me that with all his literary aspirations he can't even spell his own surname.’
    • ‘How do you harness the aspirations of your staff through career development opportunities?’
    • ‘More importantly, it reflects the lowering of all our aspirations and expectations.’
    • ‘That should never be a reason for ignoring the rights and aspirations of any group of people.’
    • ‘Each person has values, plans, aspirations, and feelings about how that life should go.’
    • ‘I'm afraid I will have to crush your dreams and creative aspirations, for your own good.’
    • ‘It is just that aspirations at the club have tended towards the more ambitious side.’
    • ‘The team was well prepared and focussed and had genuine aspirations of bring home the cup.’
    • ‘Again, the bittersweet humour rested on aspirations never being truly realised.’
    • ‘It spoke of the hurt as well as the hopes and aspirations of an underclass.’
    • ‘As a consequence the works do not seem to have much relevance to the needs and aspirations of the local community.’
    • ‘Government and landlords tried to keep the lid on rising wages and changing social aspirations.’
    • ‘We must win the argument for the investment we require in order to realise our collective aspirations.’
    desire, hope, longing, yearning, hankering, urge, wish
    aim, ambition, expectation, inclination, objective, goal, target, end, object, dream
    yen, itch
    View synonyms
  • 2Medicine
    [mass noun] The action or process of drawing breath.

    • ‘These factors lead to either inhalation or aspiration of pathogens into the respiratory tract.’
    1. 2.1The action of drawing fluid by suction from a vessel or cavity.
      ‘bathing solutions were changed by careful aspiration’
      • ‘Samples of stomach fluids obtained by aspiration on three consecutive early mornings should be sent for microscopic examination.’
      • ‘Ultrasonography or aspiration must be used to establish a definitive diagnosis.’
      • ‘Fine needle aspiration guided by ultrasound was inadequate for diagnosis so a stereotactic core biopsy was performed.’
      • ‘A 20-or 30-mL syringe should be used to provide optimal suction for aspiration.’
      • ‘Imaging-guided aspiration of fluid collections is another diagnostic aid.’
  • 3Phonetics
    [mass noun] The action of pronouncing a sound with an exhalation of breath.

    ‘there is no aspiration if the syllable begins with s’
    • ‘She goes on to note that both English and Chinese make use of aspiration in their consonantal systems.’
    • ‘If voicing is delayed, the voiceless region at the beginning of the vowel is known as aspiration.’


Late Middle English (in aspiration): from Latin aspiratio(n-), from the verb aspirare (see aspire).