Definition of inspiration in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnspɪˈreɪʃ(ə)n/


1 [mass noun] The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative: Helen had one of her flashes of inspiration the Malvern Hills have provided inspiration for many artists
More example sentences
  • He kicked 21 points and, more importantly, provided the creative inspiration that led directly to at least two of the Aussies' tries.
  • They also looked at stories by popular authors like Roald Dahl for a flash of creative inspiration.
  • Hence the emphasis on communication in her books, and the emphasis on artistic inspiration as a flash of objective vision.
artistry, expressiveness, creative power, creative talent, creative skill, genius, insight, vision, wit, finesse, flair, brilliance, sophistication
1.1The quality of being inspired: a rare moment of inspiration in an otherwise dull display
More example sentences
  • Colleagues praise her qualities of enthusiasm, energy and inspiration.
  • That question and her answer proved to be a rare moment of inspiration in a day of mayhem and murder.
  • Moments of fervent inspiration are also part of this very short but telling musical prayer.
1.2 [count noun] A person or thing that inspires: he is an inspiration to everyone
More example sentences
  • Drawing inspiration from real life incidents, he makes hard-hitting films that revolve around issues concerning society.
  • Draw inspiration from what's available and what you like.
  • Drawing inspiration from his words, young Scottish climbers of the post-war generation strove to do some exploring of their own.
stimulus, stimulation, motivation, motivating force, fillip, encouragement, influence, muse, goad, spur, lift, boost, incentive, incitement, impulse, catalyst;
example, model, guiding light
informal shot in the arm
rare afflatus
1.3Divine influence, especially that supposed to have led to the writing of the Bible.
Example sentences
  • In 1782 he published his History of the Corruptions of Christianity, in which he rejected the Trinity, predestination and the divine inspiration of the Bible.
  • After a childhood spent in his native Brittany he studied for the priesthood in Paris, but withdrew because of doubts about the divinity of Jesus and the divine inspiration of the Bible.
  • The second item measures belief in the divine inspiration and literal truth of the Bible.
2A sudden brilliant or timely idea: then I had an inspiration
More example sentences
  • All of which will remind you that moments of revelation, like sudden inspirations, should always be handled quite gingerly.
  • You watch the show, you leave with a thought, a concept, an idea, an inspiration, something like that.
  • All of a sudden inspiration struck - I would call it Jabba.
bright idea, brilliant idea, timely thought, revelation
informal brainwave, aha moment
North American informal brainstorm
3 [mass noun] The drawing in of breath; inhalation: crackling sounds are heard in the stethoscope on inspiration
More example sentences
  • It is easiest to hear breath sounds during inspiration and expiratory sounds are less well heard.
  • Apnea duration was defined as the time between the end of inspiration of the breath preceding a central apnea and the onset of inspiration of the breath terminating the apnea.
  • The process of taking air into the lungs is called inspiration, or inhalation, and the process of breathing it out is called expiration, or exhalation.


Middle English (in the sense 'divine guidance'): via Old French from late Latin inspiratio(n-), from the verb inspirare (see inspire).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|spir|ation

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