Simple Definition of inspire
: to make (someone) want to do something : to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create
: to cause (something) to happen or be created
: to cause someone to have (a feeling or emotion)
Full Definition of inspire
1 a : to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration b : to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on <was particularly inspired by the Romanticists> c : to spur on : impel, motivate <threats don't necessarily inspire people to work> d : affect <seeing the old room again inspired him with nostalgia>
2 a archaic : to breathe or blow into or upon b archaic : to infuse (as life) by breathing
3 a : to communicate to an agent supernaturally b : to draw forth or bring out <thoughts inspired by a visit to the cathedral>
4 : inhale 1
6 : to spread (rumor) by indirect means or through the agency of another
Examples of inspire
He inspired generations of future scientists.
Her courage has inspired us.
His discoveries inspired a whole new line of scientific research.
Her first novel was inspired by her early childhood.
The news inspired hope that the war might end soon.
Origin of inspire
Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French inspirer, from Latin inspirare, from in- + spirare to breathe
First Known Use: 14th century
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up inspire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).