inspire
Pronunciation
  • (GA) IPA: /ɪn.ˈspaɪɹ/
  • (RP) IPA: /ɪn.ˈspaɪə(ɹ)/
Verb

inspire (inspires, present participle inspiring; past and past participle inspired)

  1. (transitive) 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.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Wisdom 15:11 ↗:
      He knew not his Maker, and him that inspired into him an active soul.
    • c. 1588-1593, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
      Dawning day new comfort hath inspired.
  2. (transitive) 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.
    • Erato, thy poet's mind inspire, / And fill his soul with thy celestial fire.
  3. (intransitive) To draw in by the operation of breathing; to inhale.
    • c. 1670, Gideon Harvey, Morbus Anglicus", Or a Theoretick and Practical Discourse of Consumptions and Hypochondriack Melancholy... Likewise a Discourse of Spitting of Blood
      By means of those sulfurous coal smokes the lungs are as it were stifled and extremely oppressed, whereby they are forced to inspire and expire the air with difficulty.
  4. To infuse by breathing, or as if by breathing.
  5. (archaic, transitive) To breathe into; to fill with the breath; to animate.
    • 1708, Alexander Pope, Ode for Music on St Cecilia's Day:
      Descend, ye Nine, descend and sing, / The breathing instruments inspire.
  6. (transitive) To spread rumour indirectly.
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