Word of the Day: afflatus

afflatus:  a divine imparting of knowledge or power:  inspiration

Inspiration might be described as a breath of fresh air, so it’s appropriate that “inspire” derives in part from a word meaning “to breathe” (Latin spirare).

"Afflatus" is a lesser-know word for inspiration that followed a parallel route.  In Latin, afflatus means “the act of blowing or breathing on,” formed from the prefix ad- (“to”, or “toward”) and the verb flare (“to blow”).  That same Latin verb gave us such words as inflate and (via French) “souffle.”  The orator Cicero used afflatus in his Latin writings to compare the appearance of a new idea to a breath of fresh air.  

Source:  Page-a-Day Calendar

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