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[uh-fley-tuh s] /əˈfleɪ təs/
inspiration; an impelling mental force acting from within.
divine communication of knowledge.
Origin of afflatus
1655-65; < Latin afflātus a breathing on, equivalent to af- af- + flā- (stem of flāre to blow2) + -tus suffix of v. action Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for afflatus
Historical Examples
  • There was evidently an afflatus on the men, and they wrote and acted as they were moved.

    History of American Socialisms

    John Humphrey Noyes
  • Metre and rhyme, I grant you—long and short—but show me the afflatus!

    Miriam Monfort Catherine A. Warfield
  • Then with an afflatus, words flow, whispered by my muse, into lines and stanzas.

    Dreaming of Dreaming

    Peter E. Williams
  • At this point, inspired by the afflatus of a deep and true affection, Philip waxed eloquent.

    Nestleton Magna J. Jackson Wray
  • When once she abandoned herself to the afflatus of the dance delirium, she did with her beholders what she would.

    Under Two Flags Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]
  • The Dial was the original organ of this afflatus, and contains many articles that are edifying to Christians of good digestion.

    History of American Socialisms

    John Humphrey Noyes
  • After his deposal and death there was a long interregnum; but the afflatus was only distributed, not extinguished.

    History of American Socialisms

    John Humphrey Noyes
  • Finally the afflatus concentrated on Brigham Young as its second medium, and he has organized Mormonism.

    History of American Socialisms

    John Humphrey Noyes
  • The afflatus of liberty sat upon the people as cloven tongues.

  • If he gets the afflatus, he acts in the usual way, yelling and screaming out the answers sought.

British Dictionary definitions for afflatus


an impulse of creative power or inspiration, esp in poetry, considered to be of divine origin (esp in the phrase divine afflatus)
Word Origin
C17: Latin, from afflātus, from afflāre to breathe or blow on, from flāre to blow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for afflatus

"miraculous communication of supernatural knowledge," 1660s, from Latin afflatus "a breathing upon, blast," from past participle of afflare "to blow upon," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + flare "to blow" (see blow (v.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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