American English

Definition of inspiration noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] inspiration (to do something) inspiration (for something) the process that takes place when someone sees or hears something that causes them to have exciting new ideas or makes them want to create something, especially in art, music, or literature Dreams can be a rich source of inspiration for an artist. Both poets drew their inspiration from the countryside. Looking for inspiration for a new dessert? Try this recipe. Her work lacks inspiration (= it does not contain any exciting new ideas).
  2. 2[countable, usually singular] inspiration (for something) a person or thing that is the reason why someone creates or does something He says my sister was the inspiration for his heroine. Clark was the inspiration behind Saturday's victory.
  3. 3[countable, usually singular] inspiration (to/for somebody) a person or thing that makes you want to be better, more successful, etc. Her charity work is an inspiration to us all.
  4. 4[countable, usually singular, uncountable] a sudden good idea He had an inspiration: he'd give her a dog for her birthday. It came to me in a flash of inspiration.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: inspiration