May 31, 2011
- inspire (verb)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : to move or guide by divine influence2 a : to give spirit to : make spirited b : to cause to have a particular thought or feeling c : to cause a feeling of : arouse3 : inhale
- How do you use it?
- "The Grand Master spoke with a dignity which confronted even that of England's king himself, and inspired courage into his surprised and dismayed followers." (Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe)
- Are you a word wiz?
"Inspire" comes from the Latin word "spirare," which has many grandchildren in the English language, including "conspire," "expire," and "spirit." What do you think "spirare" means?Your vocabulary is inspired if you chose the correct answer B! The Latin verb "spirare" means "to breathe," and it has breathed life into many words in English. "Expire," meaning "to breathe one's last breath," is one of the more obvious relations. It goes back to the combination of "ex-," meaning "outside of," and "spirare." "Spirit" is one of the less obvious relations. Originally meaning "soul" in English, it comes from the Latin noun "spiratus," meaning "breath." And "conspire," meaning "to plot or act together" means "to breathe with."