Definition of inspiration
1a : a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelationb : the action or power of moving the intellect or emotionsc : the act of influencing or suggesting opinions
2 : the act of drawing in; specifically : the drawing of air into the lungs
3a : the quality or state of being inspiredb : something that is inspired a scheme that was pure inspiration
4 : an inspiring agent or influence
inspirationalplay \ˌin(t)-spə-ˈrā-shnəl, -shə-nəl, -(ˌ)spi-\ adjective
Examples of inspiration in a Sentence
Where does the inspiration for your art come from?
His paintings take their inspiration from nature.
She had a sudden inspiration. They would have the party outdoors!
Deciding to have the party outdoors was sheer inspiration.
Recent Examples of inspiration from the Web
Tavernier’s own adolescent obsession with the films of Jacques Becker gets the movie off to a choppy start, but the variety of inspirations (not to mention the visual quality of the film clips) is astonishing.
This, according to Isles, was the original inspiration behind the founding of the Spanish Village.
But Allman, who died Saturday at his Savannah home at 69, sought inspiration and relief in Miami.
Among those young inspirations are Lucas Sullivan, a runner for Marian University in Indianapolis; Ryan Kwiecinski of Chesterton; Paul Danger of Valparaiso; Matt Aurenz of Mishawaka and Hobart resident Bill Stalhandske.
Their actions were brave and selfless and should serve as an example, an inspiration to us all.
Which just happens to have a world-renowned restaurant that draws its inspiration straight from the dark blue waters that surround its pebbled coast.
After arriving in Harley, Mr. Hayman went into the church to seek inspiration for his song about Hilda Preece.
But research shows that photos on social media — which many young women turn to for inspiration — can have a negative impact on how people view their own appearances.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inspiration'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Inspirational History of inspiration
Inspiration has an unusual history in that its figurative sense appears to predate its literal one. It comes from the Latin inspiratus (the past participle of inspirare, “to breathe into, inspire”) and in English has had the meaning “the drawing of air into the lungs” since the middle of the 16th century. This breathing sense is still in common use among doctors, as is expiration (“the act or process of releasing air from the lungs”). However, before inspiration was used to refer to breath it had a distinctly theological meaning in English, referring to a divine influence upon a person, from a divine entity; this sense dates back to the early 14th century. The sense of inspiration often found today (“someone or something that inspires”) is considerably newer than either of these two senses, dating from the 19th century.
First Known Use of inspiration
INSPIRATION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of inspiration for English Language Learners
: something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone
: a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something
: a good idea
INSPIRATION Defined for Kids
Definition of inspiration for Students
1 : the act or power of arousing the mind or the emotions the inspiration of music
2 : a clever idea While deciding on a costume, I had an inspiration.
3 : something that moves someone to act, create, or feel an emotion Mountains were the painter's inspiration.
Medical Definition of inspiration
: the drawing of air into the lungs
Seen and Heard
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