An example of inspire is the effect explorer Ernest Shackleton had on his crew of men when their boat was crushed while exploring Antarctica in the early 1900s.
transitive verb-·spired′, -·spir′ing
- to breathe or blow upon or into
- to infuse (life, etc. into) by breathing
- to draw (air) into the lungs; inhale
- to have an animating effect upon; influence or impel; esp., to stimulate or impel to some creative or effective effort
- to cause, guide, communicate, or motivate as by divine or spiritual influence
- to arouse or produce (a thought or feeling): kindness inspires love
- to affect with a specified feeling or thought: to inspire someone with fear
- to occasion, cause, or produce
- to prompt, or cause to be written or said, by influence: to inspire a rumor
Origin of inspireMiddle English inspiren from Old French inspirer from Classical Latin inspirare from in-, in, on + spirare, to breathe: see spirit
- to inhale
- to give inspiration
verbin·spired, in·spir·ing, in·spires
- To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence.
- To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion: hymns that inspire the congregation; an artist who was inspired by Impressionism.
- a. To stimulate to action; motivate: a sales force that was inspired by the prospect of a bonus. See Synonyms at encourage.b. To cause (someone) to have a particular feeling; affect or touch: “At this moment he inspired her with disgust rather than with love” ( Anthony Trollope )
- To cause someone to have (a feeling or reaction); elicit or arouse: a teacher who inspired admiration and respect.
- To be the cause or source of; bring about: an invention that inspired many imitations.
- To draw in (air) by inhaling.
- Archaic a. To breathe on.b. To breathe life into.
- To stimulate energies, ideals, or reverence: a leader who inspires by example.
- To inhale.
Origin of inspireMiddle English enspiren from Old French enspirer from Latin īnspīrāre in- into ; see in- 2. spīrāre to breathe
(third-person singular simple present inspires, present participle inspiring, simple past and past participle inspired)
- 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.
- To infuse into; to affect, as with a superior or supernatural influence; to fill with what animates, enlivens or exalts; to communicate inspiration to.
- Elders should inspire children with sentiments of virtue.
- (intransitive) To draw in by the operation of breathing; to inhale.
- To infuse by breathing, or as if by breathing.
- (archaic) To breathe into; to fill with the breath; to animate.
- To spread rumour indirectly.
From Old French inspirer, variant of espirer, 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”).