- transpireThe origin of the word is in the Latin verb spirare ‘to breathe’, and in its primary physical sense meant ‘to give off vapour’ or ‘to perspire’ (a meaning still used in the physical sciences). In the 18c it developed two abstract meanings, both looked on with suspicion: (1) ‘to leak out, to become known’, usually with an impersonal it as subject
• (It transpired later that the social workers were all under instruction to have identification —R. Black, 1992
• The couple, it transpires, have quietly been buying art for a decade —Arts & Book Review, 2007)and (2) ‘to happen, to occur’
• (What actually transpired upon the outbreak of the Civil War is lost in the mists of time —E. G. Holland, 1986
• It is imperative now…that Tony Blair comes clean with the British public as to what transpired during the course of those 10 days —Guardian Unlimited, 2005 [OEC])a sense that probably arose from a misunderstanding of the previous one. In the course of time the first of these meanings has become accepted, but the second, despite its closeness in some contexts, is still widely disfavoured (in the 19c the American writer Richard Grant White went so far as to describe it as a ‘monstrous perversion’) and it should not be used except informally.
Modern English usage. 2014.