Something or someone that has a positive influence or provides encouragement inspires. When we see someone do something that is artistic, athletic, brave, heroic, interesting, incredible, etcetera, we are inspired. Sometimes we are inspired to take some similar action because our behavior is learned from other people. A person does something great, and then we want to do the same. The word "inspire" is a verb:

simplepastpast participle
  • Watching the Olympic games inspired Melissa to become a gymnast.
  • Brandon was inspired by his music teacher to become a professional guitarist. (This sentence uses the passive voice in the past tense.)
  • Our supervisor inspires us to do our jobs to the best of our abilities.
  • My English teachers in high school inspired me to become an English teacher.

The noun form of this word is "inspiration."

  • Artists find inspiration somewhere in their daily lives and that influences their art.
  • Words of inspiration from the coach helped the football team win the game.
  • Inspiration can come from just about anywhere.
  • A person’s religion or religious text can be a source of inspiration.
  • The Bible is a source of inspiration for Christians.
  • The Koran is a source of inspiration for Muslims.
  • People who are Jewish find inspiration from The Torah.

david vs goliath The story of David vs. Goliath is an inspiration for many people who read it.

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This page was first published on December 13, 2012. The most recent update was on January 9, 2016.