View synonyms for inspire


[ in-spahyuhr ]

verb (used with object)

, in·spired, in·spir·ing.
  1. to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence:

    His courage inspired his followers.

  2. to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.):

    to inspire confidence in others.

  3. to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc.:

    to inspire a person with distrust.

  4. to influence or impel:

    Competition inspired her to greater efforts.

  5. to animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like, does:

    They were inspired by a belief in a better future.

  6. to communicate or suggest by a divine or supernatural influence:

    writings inspired by God.

  7. to guide or control by divine influence.
  8. to prompt or instigate (utterances, acts, etc.) by influence, without avowal of responsibility.
  9. to give rise to, bring about, cause, etc.:

    a philosophy that inspired a revolution.

  10. to take (air, gases, etc.) into the lungs in breathing; inhale.
  11. Archaic.
    1. to infuse (breath, life, etc.) by breathing (usually followed by into ).
    2. to breathe into or upon.

verb (used without object)

, in·spired, in·spir·ing.
  1. to give inspiration.
  2. to inhale.


/ ɪnˈspaɪə /


  1. to exert a stimulating or beneficial effect upon (a person); animate or invigorate
  2. tr; foll by with or to; may take an infinitive to arouse (with a particular emotion or to a particular action); stir
  3. tr to prompt or instigate; give rise to

    her beauty inspired his love

  4. tr; often passive to guide or arouse by divine influence or inspiration
  5. to take or draw (air, gas, etc) into the lungs; inhale
  6. archaic.
    1. to breathe into or upon
    2. to breathe life into

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Derived Forms

  • inˈspirative, adjective
  • inˈspiringly, adverb
  • inˈspirer, noun
  • inˈspirable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • in·spir·a·tive [in-, spahyuhr, -, uh, -tiv, in, -spi-rey-tiv], adjective
  • in·spirer noun
  • in·spiring·ly adverb
  • prein·spire verb (used with object) preinspired preinspiring
  • pseudo·in·spiring adjective
  • rein·spire verb reinspired reinspiring
  • unin·spiring adjective
  • unin·spiring·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of inspire1

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English inspiren, from Latin inspīrāre “to breathe upon, breathe into,” equivalent to in- in- 2( def ) + spīrāre “to breathe”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of inspire1

C14 (in the sense: to breathe upon, blow into): from Latin inspīrāre, from spīrāre to breathe

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Example Sentences

Find fun, V-day inspired baking recipe ideas here, for beginners and gurus, and remember baked goods are the perfect “I love you” gift for mentors, friends, family and beyond.

Queen Latifah is the star of this new CBS show, a reboot of the 1980s crime drama that inspired a film franchise starring Denzel Washington.

The Dallas-area founder was inspired to tackle the student loan debt crisis after talking with his daughter about the prospect of eventually paying down her own loan debt.

Sipped over ice — or simply breathed straight from the jar in the middle of the day — my Cyprus-inspired amaro gives me a shiver of instant recognition.

The result is a colorful, chili-inspired stuffed potato that is a nourishing meal in itself, and one you can count me in for anytime.

There is, however, a separate wing of AQAP designed to inspire their followers to conduct attacks against the West.

But these were technical solutions and unlikely to inspire protests alone.

The 2014 election was a wipeout, progressives say, because Democrats lacked a bold economic message to inspire voters.

Miraculously, Malala survived, and her courage, wisdom, and optimism have continued to transfix and inspire the world.

I would like to inspire some people from Africa, and my country, to try and work hard and be a supermodel.

Unfortunately Massna's record was not such as to inspire confidence in the purity of his intentions.

To attempt to cut out Mrs. Kaye I should need a little genuine enthusiasm; and frankly, your beloved prodigy does not inspire it.

I must also add, that the appearance and behaviour of the Chinese did not inspire me with the slightest apprehension.

Nor hast thou ever known, Aspasia,Or couldst thou comprehend the thoughts that onceThou didst inspire in me.

Their fatal ignorance of our sacred mysteries can only inspire us with tender compassion for our wandering brethren.