Definition of aspire in US English:



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

    ‘we never thought that we might aspire to those heights’
    with infinitive ‘other people will aspire to be like you’
    • ‘It stirs us to strive for the goal, achieve the target and aspire to something beyond our comfort zone.’
    • ‘Certainly from my point of view, I admire their success and aspire to be part of an organisation that could achieve that as well.’
    • ‘We cannot eliminate all risk, and we should not aspire to do so.’
    • ‘You can always aspire to the mediocre and attain less, or you can aspire to the great and hope that you get somewhere close.’
    • ‘We need to ask ourselves, what kind of success do we aspire to achieve and at what cost?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is the story of four African American girls who aspire to be recording artists.’
    • ‘After all, who doesn't want their precious daughter to aspire to such heights?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What's more, many blogs aspire to be much more than online diaries.’
    • ‘What counts most is what each individual can aspire to achieve with technology and the results they deliver.’
    • ‘You must mark out your territory as an artist, so that others learn to envy you and aspire to what you are doing.’
    • ‘For dancers aspiring to join the troupe, the audition, which is videotaped, generally consists of two parts: dance class and improvisation.’
    • ‘If you want to aspire to any sort of academic achievement you need to be able to express yourself clearly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was talking about people who aspire to have their ideas influence the public debate.’
    • ‘The article is inspiring and it is to be hoped that we all aspire to live our lives in this way.’
    • ‘These days artists aspire to come up with an idea for something new to put on an arts grant application.’
    • ‘They are generally educated abroad but aspire to return home, not settle there permanently.’
    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
    1. 1.1literary Rise high; tower.
      ‘above the domes of loftiest mosques, these pinnacles of death aspire’


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