Definition of aspiration in US English:



  • 1usually aspirationsA hope or ambition of achieving something.

    ‘the yawning gulf between aspiration and reality’
    ‘he had nothing tangible to back up his literary aspirations’
    • ‘Government and landlords tried to keep the lid on rising wages and changing social aspirations.’
    • ‘The team was well prepared and focussed and had genuine aspirations of bring home the cup.’
    • ‘Keep in mind your summer job does not have to be directly related to your career aspirations.’
    • ‘Until reality can catch up with aspirations, this emotional deprivation will continue.’
    • ‘How do you harness the aspirations of your staff through career development opportunities?’
    • ‘We must win the argument for the investment we require in order to realise our collective aspirations.’
    • ‘Each person has values, plans, aspirations, and feelings about how that life should go.’
    • ‘It is always easy to achieve equality for the many if we keep our aspirations fairly low.’
    • ‘That should never be a reason for ignoring the rights and aspirations of any group of people.’
    • ‘More importantly, it reflects the lowering of all our aspirations and expectations.’
    • ‘As a consequence the works do not seem to have much relevance to the needs and aspirations of the local community.’
    • ‘Again, the bittersweet humour rested on aspirations never being truly realised.’
    • ‘In my inauguration speech last year I expressed my hopes and aspirations for the year.’
    • ‘She works hard for the money, and she also has aspirations to move on up into management.’
    • ‘Most important of all it aims to return to us a human face, a set of wants and needs, of aspirations and desires.’
    • ‘The survey would not only be of the buildings, but of the attitudes and aspirations of the community.’
    • ‘It is just that aspirations at the club have tended towards the more ambitious side.’
    • ‘It spoke of the hurt as well as the hopes and aspirations of an underclass.’
    • ‘I'm afraid I will have to crush your dreams and creative aspirations, for your own good.’
    • ‘It amuses me that with all his literary aspirations he can't even spell his own surname.’
    desire, hope, longing, yearning, hankering, urge, wish
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The object of one's hope or ambition; a goal.
      ‘fabrics and oriental rugs were my aspirations’
      • ‘The entire history of artillery is marked by the aspiration of designers and developers to create ever more powerful systems.’
      • ‘By then he had also begun his campaign to place the CIG on a firmer legal footing, an aspiration fulfilled early in his successor's term.’
      • ‘Is it then, a goal, an aspiration, an objective?’
      • ‘‘The continental day is my aspiration,’ he said.’
      • ‘This has been an aspiration of our people since our independence.’
      • ‘In the seventeenth century property ownership was the hallmark of the English aristocracy and the aspiration of the middling classes.’
      • ‘Therefore, attaining a higher education in colleges and universities has always been the main goal and aspiration of rural students.’
      • ‘If the will to live exists, it may be deeply affected by core life issues, specifically questions of aspiration, goals, purposes and personal meaning.’
      • ‘These days, marriage for life is a pleasant thought, a worthwhile aspiration and a goal to aim for, but that's all.’
      • ‘It had never declared an aspiration to become anything it was not.’
      • ‘To executives, modeling a company's performance on its best-in-class competitor is an ambitious but attainable aspiration.’
      • ‘In his view, avoiding ‘social dissension’ is more than a policy desideratum or a prudent aspiration.’
      • ‘There's no real concrete aspiration or goal as of yet.’
      • ‘In Act I, the characters are given a goal or aspiration, and in Act II, the confrontation section, obstacles are created.’
      • ‘But creating that kind of architecture is only possible for a client who really understands the aspiration.’
      • ‘Most companies see ‘zero defects’ as little more than a lofty aspiration.’
      • ‘Such an aspiration required effort, discipline and intelligence.’
      • ‘One-to-one marketing is a great aspiration.’
      • ‘Being good at hand-to-hand combat was never an aspiration of his.’
      • ‘If such a commitment is a valuable aspiration and one that our political community wants to facilitate, then we need to examine and remove impediments to such relationships.’
  • 2Medicine
    The action or process of drawing breath.

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

    • ‘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 (sense 3)): from Latin aspiratio(n-), from the verb aspirare (see aspire).