Origin of the word inspire

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The Word Inspire

What does the word inspire have to do with air? Kevin Hall created an interesting etymological work entitled Aspire!: Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power of Words.

As the title and many references within the book point out, many words based on the root SPIR have their origins in the air, essence or breathing. In fact one of the words addressed is the word inspire and many reviewers have used that one to describe the book itself.

Here is an example of how etymology us useful: Spirit, from spiritus in Latin, means "breath" as well as "soul" or "courage", it bears some semantic similarity to the Latin and Greek roots that sprouted "animation" and "psychology", but the etymology doesn't quite work. Looking further back in time the root peis (or speis) comes from Indo-European origins and addresses the sound of rushing air, breathing.

Aside from the word inspire, the other pages on this website address the science of air pollution, weather and related topics. Following is the list of words.

Inspiration Quotes and Words

The Word Inspire and other Words

Word/phrase Quick definition
Acrospire New seedling protruding from a seed
Antiperspirant Consumer product to reduce sweating in underarms
Ardent Spirits Concentrated alcohol mixture
Artificial Respiration Forcing air into somebody's lungs to prolong life
Aspirant Ambitious person
Aspirate Moving air, or the sound produced by moving air
Aspirate Mutation Altering pronounciation of specific consonant sounds
Aspiration Ambition, Hope
Aspiration Supply of air
Aspirator Air pump
Aspire To determine and pursue your dream job
Aspirin Brand name of acetylsalicylic acid
Awe-Inspiring Incredible, evoking strong emotion
Broach Spire Conical spire with a square base and octagonal cross section near the tip
Conspiracy Plan (often evil) involving two or more persons, Breathing together
Conspiracy Theory Belief that evil plan exists
Conspiration Plan (often unlawful) involving two or more persons
Conspirator Organized crime participant
Conspire To work with someone and create a manipulative force
Dispirit(ed) Discourage(d)
Expire To die, come to an end
High Spirited Enthusiastic, bold
Holy Spirit One of the three parts of the Christian Holy Trinity
Hot-Spirited Possessing a touchy temper
In Spirit In mood, in essence, in meaning
Inspiration Breathing air, stimulating
Inspiration Receiving divine information
Inspire The word inspire means to move air
Inspire The word inspire also means to communicate with a spirit
Kindrid Spirit True companion
Leptospirosis Bacterial disease obtained from animals
Low-Spirited Discouraged
Methylated Spirit Denatured ethynol, diluted with methanol
Negro Spiritual Acapella African-American Christian music
Perspiration Emissions released through skin
Perspire Sweat, release emissions through a membrane
Philatelically Inspired Describes collectors' items available from the Post Office
Photorespiration Absorption of oxygen and release of carbon dioxide, associated with rubisco
Preaspiration Airy sound used in some languages
Pyroacetic Spirit Acetone, CH2-CO-CH2
Rectified Spirit Everclear, nearly pure ethanol
Respiration Breathing, exchanging gases by lungs, gills or other means
Respiratory Denotes mechanism used for breathing
Respiratory Pigment Iron or other metal-based molecule that absorbs oxygen
Respiratory Tract Anatomical mechanism used for breathing
Respire To breathe
Respirocyte Artificial blood
Respirometer Instrument for measuring rate of breathing
SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Epidemic respiratory disease which made daily headlines in 2003
Spiracle Breathing hole in some organisms
Spiral A curve that goes around a center point, or a centre-line in the case of a helix
Spiral Pass A method of simultaneously throwing and spinning a football
Spiral Staircase Fancy helical stairway
Spirant Airy sound used in many languages
Spire Blade of grass
Spire Sharp pointy part of roof (usually on a church)
Spirillum Spiral shaped bacteria
Spirit Life, vitality
Spirit Supernatural, essence or being
Spirit State of mind, mood
Spirit Human soul
Spirit Away To steal
Spirit Lamp Alcohol-burning light
Spirit Level Construction level with a bubble of air in an alcohol-filled chamber
Spirit of Wine Aqua vitae, water of life, concentrated or distilled wine,
Spirit, Ardent Concentrated alcohol mixture
Spirited Enthusiastic or elated
Spirits Concentrated alcohol-containing beverage
Spiritual Describes works of art dealing with the soul, Christianity or the supernatural,
Spiritual Desertion Leaving one's own church and faith
Spiritual Leader Reverend, pastor or other religious leader
Spiritual World The great beyond, afterlife, hereafter, plane of existance
Spiritualism Belief in an afterlife or that we can communicate with the dead
Spirituality Going beyond material life and possessions
Spiro Compound Molecule with two organic rings connected by a single atom
Spirochete Helical "gram-negative" bacteria
Spirograph Brand name of toy capable of drawing spirals
Spirograph, spirometer Instruments for measuring rate of breathing
Spyro Grya 1970's jazz-pop-fusion crossover band
Suspiration Breathing
Transpire To evaporate or perspire
Transpire To occur (informal)
Uninspired Boring, bored

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