Definition of aspire in English:



[no object]
  • 1Direct one's hopes or ambitions towards achieving something.

    ‘we never thought that we might aspire to those heights’
    with infinitive ‘other people will aspire to be like you’
    • ‘For those families who aspired to a nice car, a comfortable house, and private schools for their children, the new government promised economic and political tranquility.’
    • ‘They are generally educated abroad but aspire to return home, not settle there permanently.’
    • ‘We cannot eliminate all risk, and we should not aspire to do so.’
    • ‘We need to ask ourselves, what kind of success do we aspire to achieve and at what cost?’
    • ‘After all, who doesn't want their precious daughter to aspire to such heights?’
    • ‘These days artists aspire to come up with an idea for something new to put on an arts grant application.’
    • ‘You must mark out your territory as an artist, so that others learn to envy you and aspire to what you are doing.’
    • ‘If you want to aspire to any sort of academic achievement you need to be able to express yourself clearly.’
    • ‘What counts most is what each individual can aspire to achieve with technology and the results they deliver.’
    • ‘It is the story of four African American girls who aspire to be recording artists.’
    • ‘The article is inspiring and it is to be hoped that we all aspire to live our lives in this way.’
    • ‘It stirs us to strive for the goal, achieve the target and aspire to something beyond our comfort zone.’
    • ‘A street kid who was once sent to a reformatory, he aspired to be a boxer, enlisted in the navy, and did jail time for a minor robbery.’
    • ‘What's more, many blogs aspire to be much more than online diaries.’
    • ‘I was talking about people who aspire to have their ideas influence the public debate.’
    • ‘You can always aspire to the mediocre and attain less, or you can aspire to the great and hope that you get somewhere close.’
    • ‘Certainly from my point of view, I admire their success and aspire to be part of an organisation that could achieve that as well.’
    • ‘Most directors aspire to filmmaking; the money is better and cinema tends to place directors on a pedestal.’
    • ‘The two loved movies and aspired to be filmmakers.’
    • ‘For dancers aspiring to join the troupe, the audition, which is videotaped, generally consists of two parts: dance class and improvisation.’
    desire, desire to, aim for, aim to, hope for, hope to, long for, long to, yearn for, yearn to, hanker after, hanker for, hanker to, set one's heart on, wish for, wish to, want, want to, expect, expect to, have the objective of, dream of, hunger for, hunger to, seek, seek to, pursue, have as one's aim, have as one's goal, set one's sights on
    would-be, intending, aspirant, hopeful, optimistic, budding, wishful
    View synonyms
  • 2literary Rise high; tower.

    ‘above the domes of loftiest mosques these pinnacles aspire’


Late Middle English: from French aspirer or Latin aspirare, from ad- ‘to’ + spirare ‘breathe’.