To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence. To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion: hymns that inspire the congregation; an artist who was inspired by Impressionism. To stimulate to action; motivate: a sales force that was inspired by the prospect of a bonus. To affect or touch: The falling leaves inspired her with sadness. To draw forth; elicit or arouse: a teacher who inspired admiration and respect. To be the cause or source of; bring about: an invention that inspired many imitations. To draw in (air) by inhaling. Archaic To breathe on. Archaic To breathe life into. To stimulate energies, ideals, or reverence: a leader who inspires by example. To inhale.