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v. tran·spired, tran·spir·ing, tran·spires
1. To come about; happen or occur.
2. To become known; come to light.
3. To give off vapor containing waste products, as through animal or plant pores.
To give off (vapor containing waste products) through the pores of the skin or the stomata of plant tissue.
[French transpirer, from Medieval Latin trānspīrāre : Latin trāns-, trans- + Latin spīrāre, to breathe.]
Usage Note: Transpire has been used since the mid-1700s in the sense "to become publicly known," as in Despite efforts to hush the matter up, it soon transpired that the colonels had met with the rebel leaders. While this usage has been considered standard for generations, it appears to be on shaky ground and could be headed for obsolescence. In our 2001 survey, 48 percent of the Usage Panel rejected it in the sentence quoted above. It might be better to use a synonym such as become known, leak out, or get around. · The more common use of transpire meaning "to happen or occur" has a more troubled history. Though it dates at least to the beginning of the 1800s, language critics have condemned it for more than one hundred years as both pretentious and unconnected to the word's original meaning, "to give off as vapor." But there is considerable evidence that resistance to this sense of transpire is weakening. In our 1966 survey, only 38 percent of the Usage Panel found it acceptable; in 1988, 58 percent accepted it in the sentence All of these events transpired after last week's announcement. In 2001, 66 percent accepted the same sentence. Nonetheless, many of the Panelists who accepted the usage also remarked that it was pretentious or pompous. This usage is easily avoided by saying happen, occur, or take place instead.
1. (intr) to come to light; be known
2. (intr) informal to happen or occur
3. (Physiology) physiol to give off or exhale (water or vapour) through the skin, a mucous membrane, etc
4. (Botany) (of plants) to lose (water in the form of water vapour), esp through the stomata of the leaves
[C16: from Medieval Latin transpīrāre, from Latin trans- + spīrāre to breathe]
tranˈspiratory, ˌtranspiˈrational adj
Usage: It is often maintained that transpire should not be used to mean happen or occur, as in the event transpired late in the evening, and that the word is properly used to mean become known, as in it transpired later that the thief had been caught. The word is, however, widely used in the former sense, esp in spoken English
v. -spired, -spir•ing. v.i.
1. to occur; happen; take place.
2. to emit or give off waste matter, watery vapor, etc., through the surface, as of leaves or the body.
3. to escape, as moisture or odor, through or as if through pores.
4. to be revealed or become known.v.t.
5. to emit or give off (watery vapor, an odor, etc.) through the surface.
[1590–1600; < Middle French transpirer < Medieval Latin trānspīrāre= Latin trāns- trans- + spīrāre to breathe]
tran•spir′a•to`ry (-ˈspaɪr əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i) adj.
usage: From its earlier literal sense “to escape as vapor” transpire came to mean “to escape from concealment, become known” in the 18th century. Somewhat later, it developed the meaning “to occur, happen,” a sentence such as He was not aware of what had transpired yesterday being taken to mean He was not aware of what had happened yesterday. In spite of two centuries of use in all varieties of speech and writing, this now common meaning is still criticized by some on the grounds that it arose from a misapprehension of the word's original meaning.
transpire- Had an early sense of "emit as vapor through the surface"—from trans-, "through," and spirare, "breathe."
See also related terms for vapor.
Past participle: transpired
Switch to new thesaurus
|Verb||1.||transpire - pass through the tissue or substance or its pores or interstices, as of gas|
|2.||transpire - exude water vapor; "plants transpire"|
|3.||transpire - come to light; become known; "It transpired that she had worked as spy in East Germany"|
change - undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature; "She changed completely as she grew older"; "The weather changed last night"
|4.||transpire - come about, happen, or occur; "Several important events transpired last week"|
|5.||transpire - give off (water) through the skin|
1. become known, emerge, come out, be discovered, come to light, be disclosed, be made public It transpired that he had left his driving licence at home.
2. happen, occur, take place, arise, turn up, come about, come to pass (archaic) Nothing is known about what transpired at the meeting.
Usage: It is sometimes maintained that transpire should not be used to mean `happen' or `occur', as in the event transpired late in the evening, and that the word is properly used to mean `become known', as in it transpired later that the thief had been caught. The word is, however, widely used in the first sense, especially in spoken English.
2. To take place:
Idiom: come to pass.
v. transpirar; [to perspire] sudar, transpirar; [to happen] suceder, acontecer.