Definition of inspire
1a : to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspirationb : to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on was particularly inspired by the Romanticistsc : to spur on : impel, motivate threats don't necessarily inspire people to workd : affect seeing the old room again inspired him with nostalgia
2a archaic : to breathe or blow into or uponb archaic : to infuse (as life) by breathing
3a : to communicate to an agent supernaturallyb : 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 in a sentence
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 and Etymology of inspire
Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French inspirer, from Latin inspirare, from in- + spirare to breathe
First Known Use: 14th century
INSPIRE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of inspire for English Language Learners
: 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)
INSPIRE Defined for Kids
Definition of inspire for Students
1 : to move or guide by divine influence
2 : to move (someone) to act, create, or feel emotions : arouse The Senator's comments inspired me to write a letter.
3 : to cause something to occur or to be created or done It was a people's movement, inspired by the courageous acts of ordinary citizens … — Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons
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).