Inspire and Aspire are both verbs in English. While inspire is a transitive verb that denotes the involvement of an influence, aspire is an intransitive verb. It is a personal ambition, it's about dreaming to accomplish something.

Comparison chart

Aspire versus Inspire comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartAspireInspire
Synonyms be ambitious, dream, seek, pursue, yearn arouse, infuse, motivate, trigger
Etymology From Old French "aspirer" From Old French enspirer, from Latin īnspīrāre, present active infinitive of īnspīrō (“‘inspire’”).
Pronunciation /əˈspaiɚ/ /ɪnˈspaɪər/
Part of Speech Intransitive Verb Transitive Verb
Derivatives Aspiration, aspirational, aspired, aspires. Inspirational, inspired, inspiring, inspired

Differences in meaning

Definition of Inspire

To inspire means

    1. to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration. Example He was inspired by the congregation.
    2. to exert an animating, enlivening or exalting influence on. e.g. They were particularly inspired by the Romanticists.
    3. to spur on, impel, motivate. e.g. Threats don’t inspire people to work.
  1. To breathe. e.g. Inspire normally while practicing yoga.
  2. to bring about, occasion. e.g. The book was inspired by his experiences of the war.
  3. to spread (rumor) by indirect means or through the agency of another. e.g. The movie was good enough to inspire a sequel.

Definition of Aspire

To aspire means

  1. to seek, to attain or accomplish a particular goal. e.g. He aspired to be a pilot.
  2. to ascend, soar. e.g. He aspired to attain the best he could.


"Tre aspires to be the best coach and mentor he can be. He does this to inspire all he works with. We say that Tre aspires to be inspirational."

Part of Speech

Inspire is a transitive verb. A transitive verb is a verb that denotes an action which passes over from the doer or Subject to an object. For example: The book inspired the author. Note that action of being inspired passes from book to author here.

Aspire is an intransitive verb. An intransitive verb is a verb that denotes an action which does not pass over to an object, or which expresses a state or being. For example: He aspired to be a doctor. Note that action of being aspired does not pass over to any object.


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"Aspire vs Inspire." Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 15 Jan 2019. < >