Origin of inspiration

1275–1325; Middle English inspiracio(u)n < Late Latin inspīrātiōn- (stem of inspīrātiō). See inspire, -ation
Related formsre·in·spi·ra·tion, noun

Synonyms for inspiration Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inspiration

Contemporary Examples of inspiration

Historical Examples of inspiration

  • In the instant of reply, Dick Gilder, by some inspiration of love, changed his attitude.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • A combination of crocuses and snow on the ground had given her an inspiration for a gown.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • But at that moment an inspiration came to lighten the gloom.

  • Like an inspiration it came to the girl what had affected her so disagreeably in Crane—it was his eyes.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Every way I look I can see a golden-flame tongue of inspiration burning.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

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

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

inspiration in Medicine




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.

inspiration in Science



See inhalation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.