Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence.
  • transitive v. To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion: hymns that inspire the congregation; an artist who was inspired by Impressionism.
  • transitive v. To stimulate to action; motivate: a sales force that was inspired by the prospect of a bonus.
  • transitive v. To affect or touch: The falling leaves inspired her with sadness.
  • transitive v. To draw forth; elicit or arouse: a teacher who inspired admiration and respect.
  • transitive v. To be the cause or source of; bring about: an invention that inspired many imitations.
  • transitive v. To draw in (air) by inhaling.
  • transitive v. Archaic To breathe on.
  • transitive v. Archaic To breathe life into.
  • intransitive v. To stimulate energies, ideals, or reverence: a leader who inspires by example.
  • intransitive v. To inhale.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To infuse into the mind; to communicate to the spirit; to convey, as by a divine or supernatural influence; to disclose preternaturally; to produce in, as by inspiration.
  • v. To infuse into; to affect, as with a superior or supernatural influence; to fill with what animates, enlivens or exalts; to communicate inspiration to.
  • v. To draw in by the operation of breathing; to inhale.
  • v. To infuse by breathing, or as if by breathing.
  • v. (transitive) To breathe into; to fill with the breath; to animate.
  • v. To spread rumour indirectly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To draw in breath; to inhale air into the lungs; -- opposed to expire.
  • intransitive v. To breathe; to blow gently.
  • transitive v. To breathe into; to fill with the breath; to animate.
  • transitive v. To infuse by breathing, or as if by breathing.
  • transitive v. To draw in by the operation of breathing; to inhale; -- opposed to expire.
  • transitive v. To infuse into the mind; to communicate to the spirit; to convey, as by a divine or supernatural influence; to disclose preternaturally; to produce in, as by inspiration.
  • transitive v. To infuse into; to affect, as with a superior or supernatural influence; to fill with what animates, enlivens, or exalts; to communicate inspiration to.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To breathe in; draw into the lungs; inhale: as, to inspire pure air: opposed to expire.
  • To breathe into; infuse by or as if by breathing.
  • Hence To actuate or influence; animate; affect, rouse, or control by an infused, animating, or exalting influence.
  • Specifically To guide or control by divine influence; instruct or infuse with spiritual or divine knowledge.
  • To inhale air; draw air into the lungs: opposed to expire.
  • To blow; blow in.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. supply the inspiration for
  • v. spur on or encourage especially by cheers and shouts
  • v. draw in (air)
  • v. heighten or intensify
  • v. fill with revolutionary ideas
  • v. serve as the inciting cause of

Etymologies

Middle English enspiren, from Old French enspirer, from Latin īnspīrāre : in-, into; see in-2 + spīrāre, to breathe.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French enspirer, from Latin īnspīrāre, present active infinitive of īnspīrō ("inspire"), itself a loan-translation of the Ancient Greek πνέω (pneō, "breathe") in the Bible, from in + spīrō ("breathe"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Ha!

    March 26, 2009

  • Also, a hip vampire.

    March 25, 2009

  • A diabetic vampire.

    March 25, 2009