Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

inspiration - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     inspiration pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. [countable/uncountable] a sudden feeling of enthusiasm, or a new idea that helps you to do or create something
    source of inspiration:

    Dreams are a rich source of inspiration for some writers.

    draw/find inspiration from:

    a choreographer who has drawn inspiration from Javanese dance

    flash of inspiration (=one that comes very suddenly):

    After years of tedious work, a flash of inspiration provided a breakthrough.

    1. a.
      [singular] someone or something that gives you new ideas and the enthusiasm to create something with them
      inspiration for:

      The work of designer Sonia Rykiel was the original inspiration for the movie.

      inspiration behind:

      The artist’s personal life has been the inspiration behind several books.



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play