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inspire

[in-spahyuh r]
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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.
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verb (used without object), in·spired, in·spir·ing.
  1. to give inspiration.
  2. to inhale.
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Origin of inspire

1300–50; Middle English inspiren < Latin inspīrāre to breathe upon or into, equivalent to in- in-2 + spīrāre to breathe
Related formsin·spir·a·tive [in-spahyuh r-uh-tiv, in-spi-rey-tiv] /ɪnˈspaɪər ə tɪv, ˈɪn spɪˌreɪ tɪv/, adjectivein·spir·er, nounin·spir·ing·ly, adverbpre·in·spire, verb (used with object), pre·in·spired, pre·in·spir·ing.pseu·do·in·spir·ing, adjectivere·in·spire, verb, re·in·spired, re·in·spir·ing.un·in·spir·ing, adjectiveun·in·spir·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

hearteningencouragingmovingexhilaratingexcitingstirringupliftinginspirationalrefreshingstimulatinginspiritingexalting

Examples from the Web for inspiring

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • All these are not means for teaching knowledge, but for inspiring obedience.

  • To do violence to any one is a strange way of setting about inspiring love.

  • Napier took the right method of inspiring his men with his own heroic spirit.

    Self-Help

    Samuel Smiles

  • Lydia,” said she, “is there anything ‘awe’-inspiring in this display of the elements?

    An Encore

    Margaret Deland

  • I'd like for one thing to have a bust of her mother in my study—that would be so inspiring.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill


British Dictionary definitions for inspiring

inspire

verb
  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 toher 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. (tr) archaic
    1. to breathe into or upon
    2. to breathe life into
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Derived Formsinspirable, adjectiveinspirative, adjectiveinspirer, nouninspiringly, adverb

Word Origin

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

inspire

v.

mid-14c., enspiren, "to fill (the mind, heart, etc., with grace, etc.);" also "to prompt or induce (someone to do something)," from Old French enspirer (13c.), from Latin inspirare "inflame; blow into" (see inspiration), a loan-translation of Greek pnein in the Bible. General sense of "influence or animate with an idea or purpose" is from late 14c. Also sometimes used in literal sense in Middle English Related: Inspired; inspires; inspiring.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inspiring in Medicine

inspire

(ĭn-spīr)
v.
  1. To draw in breath; to inhale.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.