from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A strong creative impulse, especially as a result of divine inspiration.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sudden rush of creative impulse or inspiration, often attributed to divine influence.
  • n. A breath or blast of wind.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A breath or blast of wind.
  • n. A divine impartation of knowledge; supernatural impulse; inspiration.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A blowing or breathing on, as of wind; a breath or blast of wind.
  • n. An impelling mental force acting from within; supernal impulse or power, as of prophecy or expression; religious, poetic, or oratorical inspiration.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a strong creative impulse; divine inspiration


Latin afflātus, from past participle of afflāre, to breathe on : ad-, ad- + flāre, to blow; see bhlē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin afflatus, originally adflatu (compare English flatulence ("digestive gas, fart")), past participle of afflo ("to blow on"). In artistic sense, introduced by Cicero in De Natura Deorum (The Nature of the Gods) (44 BCE) II.167, as alternative to existing and similar inspiration (literally “sucking in air”), which already had a more general and metaphorical sense, to emphasize specifically the initial insight and restore literal overtones. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • US Railway Assn. Standard Cipher Code, 1906; telegraph shorthand for "Advise us what to do".

    January 19, 2013

  • I think you're referring to Firmament-Clogging Rotteness. Not a general list, though--these are from a specific source, so to speak...

    April 10, 2008

  • I think he did. "Wherever you may be, let the wind blow free."

    That isn't what it's called, I just felt like saying it.

    April 10, 2008

  • I thought skipvia already did that? *hoping against hope*

    April 10, 2008

  • You are more than welcome. :) Just wait till I start a Specific Afflatus list.

    April 9, 2008

  • the phrase "specific afflatus" just made my night. Thank you.

    April 9, 2008

  • So maybe this is actually the fart of an Aflac Duck? *wondering if there needs to be a Specific Afflatus list*

    April 8, 2008

  • Fart noises, yes indeed... and isn't there a cartoon duck that sells insurance, called the Aflac Duck?

    April 8, 2008

  • Simultaneously reminds me of fart noises and Daffy Duck.

    April 8, 2008

  • Far from seeming a good match to "a divine inspiration," this word reminds me of flatulence. Actually, maybe that's fitting. I'm not sure.

    December 7, 2006