aspiration

If your aspiration, or ambition, is to climb Mt. Everest someday, you better start training, because it’s a long, hard climb that requires a lot of preparation.

Aspiration means "inhalation" or "breathing." So how did it come to mean "ambition" or "the will to succeed"? The Latin gives us a clue: spirare ("to breathe") and spiritus ("spirit"). It was once believed that our breath was our soul or spirit, which might explain why we talk about "breathing life into" something, or coming up with energy and ideas to invigorate it. How else to breathe life into something than with ambition and drive, in other words, "spirit"?

Definitions of aspiration
  1. noun
    a cherished desire
    synonyms: ambition, dream
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    types:
    American Dream
    the widespread aspiration of Americans to live better than their parents did
    emulation
    ambition to equal or excel
    nationalism
    the aspiration for national independence felt by people under foreign domination
    type of:
    desire
    the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state
  2. noun
    a will to succeed
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    type of:
    ambition, ambitiousness
    a strong drive for success
  3. noun
    a manner of articulation involving an audible release of breath
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    type of:
    articulation
    the aspect of pronunciation that involves bringing articulatory organs together so as to shape the sounds of speech
  4. noun
    the act of inhaling; the drawing in of air (or other gases) as in breathing
    synonyms: breathing in, inhalation, inspiration, intake
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    types:
    gasp, pant
    a short labored intake of breath with the mouth open
    drag, puff, pull
    a slow inhalation (as of tobacco smoke)
    toke
    a puff of a marijuana or hashish cigarette
    type of:
    breath
    the process of taking in and expelling air during breathing
Word Family
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