Origin of afflatus
- Latin afflātus from past participle of afflāre to breathe on ad- ad- flāre to blow bhlē- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Latin afflatus, originally adflatu (compare English flatulence (“digestive gas, fart”)), past participle of afflo (“to blow on”). In artistic sense, introduced by Cicero in De Natura Deorum (The Nature of the Gods) (44 BCE) II.167, as alternative to existing and similar inspiration (literally “sucking in air”), which already had a more general and metaphorical sense, to emphasize specifically the initial insight and restore literal overtones.