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inspire - definition and synonyms

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verb [transitive]     inspire pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleinspiring
past tenseinspired
past participleinspired
  1. 1
    to give someone the enthusiasm to do or create something

    Inspired by her example, other zoologists have begun working with apes in the wild.

    inspire someone to something:

    Stewart did his best to inspire his team to greater efforts.

    inspire someone to do something:

    We use interactive displays to inspire children to read and write for pleasure.

  2. 2
    to give people a particular feeling

    a car that inspires envy among other drivers

    inspire something in someone:

    His athleticism inspires awe in everyone who sees him in action.

    inspire confidence:

    Her resignation will do little to inspire confidence in a company that is already struggling.



to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

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Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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