Definition of aspirate in US English:



[with object]
Pronunciation /ˈæspəˌreɪt//ˈaspəˌrāt/
  • 1often as adjective aspiratedPhonetics
    Pronounce (a sound) with an exhalation of breath.

    ‘the aspirated allophone of p occurs in “pie.”’
    • ‘If there is a substantial lag between the release of the closure of a stop or the end of the frication of an affricate, and the onset of voicing in the vowel, it is said to be aspirated.’
    • ‘Mandarin Chinese has just two series of stops and affricates, one aspirated, the other unaspirated.’
    • ‘‘I've said it once and I'll say it again,’ one of them aspirates huffily.’
    1. 1.1no object Pronounce the sound of h at the beginning of a word.
  • 2Medicine
    Breathe (something) in; inhale.

    ‘some drowning victims don't aspirate any water’
    • ‘In addition, there was a possibility that Sarah had aspirated vomit.’
    • ‘Many foods can be dangerous for small children since they can aspirate the items, which will result in blockage of the breathing passages.’
    • ‘By this time he had started to cough and was aspirating fluids.’
    • ‘Blood should be cultured from all patients who have aspirated water.’
    • ‘He aspirated some water and another coughing spasm started.’
    1. 2.1 Draw (fluid) by suction from a vessel or cavity.
      • ‘At autopsy, all remaining pleural fluid was aspirated from the right pleural space.’
      • ‘Fresh blood was aspirated from the nasogastric tube.’
      • ‘Fluid is easily aspirated when the needle is properly positioned.’
      • ‘The fluid was aspirated by immediate gentle hand suction applied to the instilling syringe after each instillation.’
      • ‘A volume of 60 ml of blood was aspirated from his knee.’
  • 3usually as adjective aspiratedProvide (an internal combustion engine) with air.

    ‘the superchargers produce twice the power of standard aspirated engines’
    • ‘The new generation produces about the same horsepower, naturally aspirated, as the old turbocharged engine.’
    • ‘In addition, this engine allows longer service intervals over the naturally aspirated version.’
    • ‘Versions of the engine will be both naturally aspirated and turbocharged and applications will include front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive, as well as hybrid vehicles.’
    • ‘The use of a homogenous intake charge lessens the chance of detonation, making it possible to run higher compression ratios on both naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines.’
    • ‘The block is stout, has cast-in iron liners, and has been designed to support the naturally aspirated, turbo-charged, and supercharged performance variants that inevitably will supplement the base engines.’


Pronunciation /ˈæsp(ə)rət//ˈasp(ə)rət/
  • 1Phonetics
    An aspirated consonant.

    • ‘In fact, air flow continues at a very high rate for a very long time in these sounds relative to aspirates.’
    • ‘They can't seem to handle hard aspirates at all, and sibilants are difficult for them.’
    1. 1.1 The sound h or a character used to represent this sound.
      • ‘Conversely, there is often an intrusive aspirate between vowels, as in ‘cre-haytion’ for creation and ‘hi-haytus’ for hiatus.’
      • ‘She fires off the cleanest and most articulated runs without a trace of strain or unwanted aspirates.’
      • ‘He was a ‘sobber,’ and many of his phrases are broken or studded with unnecessary (but very emotional!) aspirates.’
      • ‘And the Sindhu of Sanskrit became Hindhu or Hindu in Persian, following the practice of changing ‘S’ into an aspirate in Persian.’
  • 2Medicine
    Matter that has been drawn from the body by aspiration.

    ‘gastric aspirate’
    ‘esophageal aspirates’
    • ‘Iron staining of the bone marrow aspirate revealed increased storage iron.’
    • ‘Bronchial aspirate were obtained by aseptic technique using a sterile suction catheter each time.’
    • ‘To confirm a suspected second relapse, a bone marrow aspirate and core biopsy were performed.’
    • ‘Likewise, observing the appearance of feeding tube aspirate is also unreliable because gastric contents can look similar to respiratory secretions.’
    • ‘In four of nine cases, the same pathogen was diagnosed both in serum and in the nasopharyngeal aspirate.’


Pronunciation /ˈæsp(ə)rət//ˈasp(ə)rət/
  • (of a sound) pronounced with an exhalation of breath; aspirated.

    • ‘In speech, hard ‘r’ frequently gets nasalized, in the same way as ‘k’ becomes aspirated in the American throat.’
    • ‘For example, the aspirated series of stops and affricates are written by adding a horizontal stroke to the letters for the plain series.’
    • ‘So let's practice distinguishing ejective from aspirated stops, okay class?’
    • ‘For instance, aspirated consonants are written with a small superscript h after the symbol for the corresponding unaspirated consonant.’
    • ‘Alongside the general schema for a syllable-onset consonant, however, there exist more specific schemas concerning individual sounds (such as p), classes of sounds (the aspirated stops), and so on.’


Mid 16th century (as an adjective): from Latin aspiratus ‘breathed’, past participle of aspirare (see aspire).