[uh-fley-tuh s]


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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for afflatus

Historical Examples of afflatus

  • There was evidently an afflatus on the men, and they wrote and acted as they were moved.

  • 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]

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 for afflatus

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

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