Definition of inspiration in English:



  • 1The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

    ‘Helen had one of her flashes of inspiration’
    ‘the history of fashion has provided designers with invaluable inspiration’
    • ‘Hence the emphasis on communication in her books, and the emphasis on artistic inspiration as a flash of objective vision.’
    • ‘This was contrary to the idea (influenced by Romanticism) that an artist should rely on inspiration and creativity.’
    • ‘However, commentators often interpret isolated cases of this process of inspiration, adoption, and re-valuation as indicative of the whole.’
    • ‘You'll be pleased to know relationships - especially with your own creative inspiration - are more responsive to play than to work right now.’
    • ‘Fine artists would give inspiration and stimulus and craftsmen would give practical classes.’
    • ‘Our collection is the culmination of innovation, hard work, inspiration and creativity.’
    • ‘Cameron was confident that relaxing and re-creating in the midst of mountain splendour would uplift creative energies and artistic inspiration.’
    • ‘With the help of such means, the process of inspiration is galvanized into a complete artistic and spiritual masterpiece.’
    • ‘This network evolves and materializes through a process of inspiration, image, and historic precedent.’
    • ‘The process of inspiration is active and requires energy for muscle contraction.’
    • ‘She will continue to provide creative inspiration.’
    • ‘First, you have to have artistic direction that provides inspiration and vision balanced with savvy business acumen.’
    • ‘The core group's ongoing responsibility lies in providing inspiration and awareness through individual artistic dreams.’
    • ‘There are flashes of artistic inspiration and drive in an impromptu hip-hop dance battle and when the exhausted competitors compare post-rehearsal bruises.’
    • ‘They also looked at stories by popular authors like Roald Dahl for a flash of creative inspiration.’
    • ‘But this was immediately challenged by Van de Velde's protest about the importance of individual artistic inspiration.’
    • ‘He kicked 21 points and, more importantly, provided the creative inspiration that led directly to at least two of the Aussies' tries.’
    • ‘All new creations are built on previous creations and provide inspiration for future ones.’
    • ‘In this way ‘Repulsed’ addresses the enigma of creative inspiration and articulates its own unique prose language in the process.’
    • ‘Forty different gardens are shown, providing inspiration for wonderful creations for your own home, regardless of the season.’
    creativity, inventiveness, innovation, innovativeness, ingenuity, imagination, imaginativeness, originality, individuality
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    1. 1.1The quality of being inspired, especially when evident in something.
      ‘a rare moment of inspiration in an otherwise dull display’
      • ‘Kilmarnock had been curiously subdued for much of the first half, their few moments of inspiration invariably featuring some involvement from Allan Johnston.’
      • ‘Moments of fervent inspiration are also part of this very short but telling musical prayer.’
      • ‘I want it to be a place full of creative inspiration.’
      • ‘As you're writing it you have these moments of inspiration, it's very rare, so when it happens you cling onto it.’
      • ‘The book is full of the wisdom, wit, inspiration and passion for music pedagogy that made Chronister such a leader in the field.’
      • ‘In one great examples of such scenes, Julie is in the swimming pool and as she climbs off the edge of the pool, we, all of a sudden, witness her being hit by the music and a moment of inspiration.’
      • ‘At this point Simon had a moment of inspiration.’
      • ‘At least there were shades of McFadden about the one moment of inspiration, although he must have been disappointed to find that it was provided by the visitors.’
      • ‘Both of them are clearly captivated by the easy charm and fluid inspiration that characterises Chaminade's music.’
      • ‘It was a moment of inspiration for the Lions Club members in Toscana, Italy, that led to the building of these houses for the poor in Aroor, on the outskirts of the city.’
      • ‘His game was a blend of genius, inspiration and creativity.’
      • ‘After all, in a moment of champagne-enhanced inspiration, he gave the whole nation a free ‘sickie’ for the day to celebrate!’
      • ‘That question and her answer proved to be a rare moment of inspiration in a day of mayhem and murder.’
      • ‘Busby's men did not panic after such a setback and a moment of magical inspiration from new signing Robinson handed them the initiative again on 69 minutes.’
      • ‘In a moment of inspiration, Liz came up with Power Line.’
      • ‘And right now I feel not a grain of creativity, imagination or inspiration.’
      • ‘Colleagues praise her qualities of enthusiasm, energy and inspiration.’
      • ‘Maybe it's just time for the marketing team to find a moment of inspiration and invent a new slogan?’
      • ‘In a brief moment of inspiration, I strung some string from the deck to the garage, sliced up some orange and green garbage bags into ribbons and tied them to the line.’
      • ‘Still and all, this lack of creative inspiration troubles me.’
    2. 1.2A person or thing that inspires.
      ‘he is an inspiration to everyone’
      • ‘The Motherwell drivers are an inspiration to everyone, and their spirit should be an example to all.’
      • ‘Having witnessed him in training he is clearly an inspiration to everyone at the club constantly dispensing advice and encouragement to the other boxers coming through.’
      • ‘He was an inspiration to everyone who worked for him.’
      • ‘Draw inspiration from what's available and what you like.’
      • ‘Cindi, you are an inspiration for everyone who's watching this program.’
      • ‘No doubt she is an inspiration to each and everyone of us.’
      • ‘Drawing inspiration from real life incidents, he makes hard-hitting films that revolve around issues concerning society.’
      • ‘Drawing inspiration from his words, young Scottish climbers of the post-war generation strove to do some exploring of their own.’
      • ‘Draw inspiration from this collection and maybe make your own banner for the next protest!’
      • ‘Drawing inspiration on anything from folk to pop and jazz to electronica, Chemistry is a refreshing and inventive record.’
      • ‘She was recalled at the launch last week and was described by Florence as ‘an inspiration to everyone’.’
      • ‘Her mother's name was Estelle, which suggests it was the inspiration for Trudy's French alias.’
      • ‘Kelly is an inspiration to everyone at the school and is a truly remarkable person.’
      • ‘I have no idea what woman was the inspiration for that album, but most of the songs are sad ruminations of a love affair gone wrong.’
      • ‘Matt is an inspiration to everyone in San Francisco who believes in social justice and integrity.’
      • ‘He is an inspiration to everyone in the club and we hope he can continue his tremendous work in the future.’
      • ‘Drawing inspiration from pulp fiction, it presents a dark tale of love, sex, violence and loss.’
      • ‘Peter will not be forgotten because he was an inspiration to everyone he met.’
      • ‘Drawing inspiration from the anti-war movement, it aims to unite all those horrified by New Labour's programme of war and neoliberalism into a formidable electoral force.’
      • ‘She's followed the plan 100 per cent and is an inspiration for everyone who comes along.’
      stimulus, stimulation, motivation, motivating force, fillip, encouragement, influence, muse, goad, spur, lift, boost, incentive, incitement, impulse, catalyst
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    3. 1.3A sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea.
      ‘then I had an inspiration’
      • ‘If your most brilliant inspirations strike after dark, you can swing two feet on the floor and wheel into gear with mobile office equipment (available from office supply stores or catalogs).’
      • ‘Sudden inspiration struck her, and she hurried over to the corner of the room.’
      • ‘A great idea, an inspiration, is a gift from the Gods.’
      • ‘I haven't figured out what happens next but that doesn't mean that I won't have a sudden inspiration.’
      • ‘Tzaer, having added all the ingredients, was about to put the cartridge into the pen when he had a sudden inspiration.’
      • ‘Jerry, who had been working in other branches of the performing arts, wanted everyone he selected present for every hour of rehearsal in case he had a sudden inspiration.’
      • ‘All of which will remind you that moments of revelation, like sudden inspirations, should always be handled quite gingerly.’
      • ‘Kassie and Mike talked for another hour and a half, occasionally getting interrupted by something Mike had to do, or a sudden inspiration he had had.’
      • ‘Suddenly her face lit up as if she had been hit with a sudden inspiration.’
      • ‘He could tell from the distant look in Seira's eyes that the other boy had been struck with a sudden inspiration for a piece.’
      • ‘You watch the show, you leave with a thought, a concept, an idea, an inspiration, something like that.’
      • ‘I stood back and looked at him, our mutual frustration apparent, when I had a sudden inspiration.’
      • ‘A sudden inspiration caused Jordan to hop out of bed and rummage through her desk drawer to find a pad of paper and pen.’
      • ‘Suddenly the inspiration dawned on me and I told them some half-baked excuse about job cuts and being given a Free Transfer to Millhampton.’
      • ‘As I recalled the plot of ‘Tommy’, my eyes lit up with a sudden inspiration.’
      • ‘On a sudden inspiration, he chose the one with the youngest operator.’
      • ‘Jea got a sudden inspiration, she stuck out her arms and started turning and spinning in circles down the block, in the acid rain of New York City.’
      • ‘With a sudden inspiration I improvised, changing the speech to fit the occasion.’
      • ‘All of a sudden inspiration struck - I would call it Jabba.’
      • ‘He looked at the far wall and with a sudden inspiration, clapped the book shut.’
      bright idea, brilliant idea, timely thought, revelation
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    4. 1.4The divine influence believed to have led to the writing of the Bible.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Dr Gordon Moyes has said, publicly and forthrightly, that there has never been a more urgent need to declare belief in the authority and inspiration of the Bible.’
      • ‘The second item measures belief in the divine inspiration and literal truth of the Bible.’
      • ‘As Evangelicals, we know that the divine inspiration of the Scriptures is fundamental.’
  • 2The drawing in of breath; inhalation.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is easiest to hear breath sounds during inspiration and expiratory sounds are less well heard.’
    • ‘A 24 year old woman presented with sudden onset shortness of breath and chest pain that was worse on inspiration.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Examiners compared observed systolic pressure between inspiration and expiration, and subtracted the two values.’
    inhalation, breathing in, drawing in of breath
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    1. 2.1An act of breathing in; an inhalation.
      • ‘We have postulated that the loss of the bronchoprotective effect of deep inspirations can account for a substantial proportion of the phenomenon of airway hyperresponsiveness.’
      • ‘The intrinsic elasticity of the airways would still allow the airway tree to distend with inspirations and relax with expiration.’
      • ‘Children were asked to take a maximal inspiration, followed immediately by a maximal forced expiratory maneuver without a pause in between.’
      • ‘The inspiratory phase of a cough starts with a deep inspiration resulting in increased lung volumes and increased elastic recoil pressure.’
      • ‘Moreover, quiet breathing is regularly interrupted by deep inspirations in which tidal volume at least doubles and the forces on the tissue significantly increase.’


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