Definition of inspiration noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌɪnspəˈreɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌɪnspəˈreɪʃn//
    Describing art
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  1. 1[uncountable] inspiration (to do something) | inspiration (for something) the process that takes place when somebody 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). See related entries: Describing art
  2. 2[countable, usually singular] inspiration (for something) a person or thing that is the reason why somebody 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.
  5. Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘divine guidance’): via Old French from late Latin inspiratio(n-), from the verb inspirare ‘breathe or blow into’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe’.Extra examples He was the inspiration behind last week’s victory. Her inspiration comes from Asia. Her latest book owes its inspiration to childhood memories. His wife was the direct inspiration for the main character in the book. I had to wait until inspiration struck. In a flash of inspiration, I decided to paint the whole house white. Many of us found inspiration in her teaching. One day the inspiration just came. She’s been a great inspiration to me. The movement draws much of its inspiration from the Greek philosophers. The sea has provided an inspiration for many of his paintings. Then I had a moment of true inspiration. Where did you get the inspiration for the book? Julia’s courage must be a great inspiration to those people facing a similar ordeal. She became an inspiration and a role model for a new generation of women. She had the time and the inspiration to develop her talent. The garden is an inspiration for all gardeners with limited resources.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: inspiration