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[in-spuh-rey-shuh n] /ˌɪn spəˈreɪ ʃən/
an inspiring or animating action or influence:
I cannot write poetry without inspiration.
something inspired, as an idea.
a result of inspired activity.
a thing or person that inspires.
  1. a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul.
  2. the divine quality of the writings or words of a person so influenced.
the drawing of air into the lungs; inhalation.
the act of inspiring; quality or state of being inspired.
Origin of inspiration
1275-1325; Middle English inspiracio(u)n < Late Latin inspīrātiōn- (stem of inspīrātiō). See inspire, -ation
Related forms
reinspiration, noun
1. stimulus, incitement. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for inspiration
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It may be that they have been alike your inspiration and your despair.

    Search-Light Letters Robert Grant
  • They should be the free inheritance and inspiration of all the children of men.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • Remembering our happy days together, why should their inspiration not sustain me now?

    Cupid's Middleman Edward B. Lent
  • "Therefore will I trust to inspiration," he rejoined blandly.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • The origin and conception of this little work is due to the inspiration of my friend Walter Exley of the Statesman staff.

British Dictionary definitions for inspiration


stimulation or arousal of the mind, feelings, etc, to special or unusual activity or creativity
the state or quality of being so stimulated or aroused
someone or something that causes this state
an idea or action resulting from such a state
the act or process of inhaling; breathing in
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 inspiration

c.1300, "immediate influence of God or a god," especially that under which the holy books were written, from Old French inspiracion "inhaling, breathing in; inspiration," from Late Latin inspirationem (nominative inspiratio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin inspirare "inspire, inflame, blow into," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit). Literal sense "act of inhaling" attested in English from 1560s. Meaning "one who inspires others" is attested by 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inspiration in Medicine

inspiration in·spi·ra·tion (ĭn'spə-rā'shən)
The inhalation of air into the lungs.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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inspiration in Science
See inhalation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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inspiration in the Bible

that extraordinary or supernatural divine influence vouchsafed to those who wrote the Holy Scriptures, rendering their writings infallible. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (R.V., "Every scripture inspired of God"), 2 Tim. 3:16. This is true of all the "sacred writings," not in the sense of their being works of genius or of supernatural insight, but as "theopneustic," i.e., "breathed into by God" in such a sense that the writers were supernaturally guided to express exactly what God intended them to express as a revelation of his mind and will. The testimony of the sacred writers themselves abundantly demonstrates this truth; and if they are infallible as teachers of doctrine, then the doctrine of plenary inspiration must be accepted. There are no errors in the Bible as it came from God, none have been proved to exist. Difficulties and phenomena we cannot explain are not errors. All these books of the Old and New Testaments are inspired. We do not say that they contain, but that they are, the Word of God. The gift of inspiration rendered the writers the organs of God, for the infallible communication of his mind and will, in the very manner and words in which it was originally given. As to the nature of inspiration we have no information. This only we know, it rendered the writers infallible. They were all equally inspired, and are all equally infallible. The inspiration of the sacred writers did not change their characters. They retained all their individual peculiarities as thinkers or writers. (See BIBLE ØT0000580; WORD OF GOD.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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