a. A way in which something can be viewed by the mind: looked at all aspects of the situation.
b. A characteristic or feature of something: a novel with many unusual aspects.
2. A particular look or facial expression; mien: "He was serious of aspect but wholly undistinguished" (Louis Auchincloss).
3. Appearance to the eye, especially from a specific vantage point: "many small unsightly hillocks ... that had the aspect of graves" (Edgar Allan Poe).
4. A position facing or commanding a given direction; exposure: a building with a southern aspect.
5. A side or surface facing in a particular direction: the ventral aspect of the body.
a. The configuration of the stars, constellations, or planets in relation to one another.
b. This configuration, thought by astrologers to influence human affairs.
a. A property of verbs in which the action or state is related to the passage of time, especially in reference to completion, duration, or repetition.
b. A set or category of verb forms indicating such a relation.
8. Archaic An act of looking or gazing.
[Middle English, from Latin aspectus, a view, from past participle of aspicere, to look at : ad-, ad- + specere, to look; see spek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
as·pectu·al (ă-spĕkch-əl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.