Inspiration vs Inquiry - What's the difference?

inspiration | inquiry |

As nouns the difference between inspiration and inquiry

is that inspiration is (exercising an elevating or stimulating influence upon the intellect or emotions) while inquiry is the act of inquiring; a seeking of information by asking questions; interrogation; a question or questioning.




  • (physiology, uncountable) The drawing of air into the lungs, accomplished in mammals by elevation of the chest walls and flattening of the diaphragm, as part of the act of respiration.
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  • (countable) A breath, a single inhalation.
  • * 1826 , , An Elementary System of Physiology , p. 220:
  • Laughing is produced by an inspiration succeeded by a succession of short imperfect expirations.
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  • A supernatural divine influence on the prophets, apostles, or sacred writers, by which they were qualified to communicate moral or religious truth with authority; a supernatural influence which qualifies men to receive and communicate divine truth; also, the truth communicated.
  • * 1688 , , The History of the Variations of the Protestant Churches Vol.2 (1829 translation), p. 355:
  • The question, therefore, at issue is, not whether those external means be sufficient without grace and divine inspiration', for none pretends that": but, in order to hinder men from feigning or imagining an '''inspiration''', whether it has not been God's economy, and his usual conduct to make his ' inspiration walk hand in hand with certain means of fact, which men can neither feign in the air without being convicted of falsehood, nor imagine without illusion.
  • The act of an elevating]] or [[stimulate, stimulating influence upon the intellect, emotions or creativity. In this sense, it is generally followed by the adposition to'' or ''for :
  • * She was waiting for inspiration to write a book.
  • * She was waiting for inspiration for writing a book.
  • * 1865 , , The Nation's Wail , p. 6:
  • We caught the inspiration of his joy; and imagination painted a glorious future near at hand for our land, quickly to develop itself under the guidance of his fostering wisdom, and fraternal counsels and care.
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  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=4 , passage=“Well,” I answered, at first with uncertainty, then with inspiration , “he would do splendidly to lead your cotillon, if you think of having one.” ¶ “So you do not dance, Mr. Crocker?” ¶ I was somewhat set back by her perspicuity.}}
  • * 1998 , David Allen Brown, Leonardo da Vinci: Origins of a Genius , p. 25:
  • All this suggests that Andrea may, like the authors of the devotional panel, the fresco, and the print – and like Leonardo, as we shall see – have found his inspiration in Pollaiuolo.
  • * 2002 , Sven Rasegård, Man and Science: A Web of Systems and Social Conventions , p. 2:
  • And now it is time for problem solving which, if successful, will create new ideas serving as an inspiration source for future research objects of the researcher in question as well as other researchers within the same field.
  • * 2013 , (Phil McNulty), " Liverpool 1-0 Man Utd", BBC Sport , 1 September 2013:
  • As for United, this was a performance lacking in inspiration , purpose and threat and once again underlined the urgency for transfer business to be done in the closing hours of the transfer window.
  • A person, object, or situation which quickens or stimulates an influence upon the intellect, emotions or creativity.
  • * 2008 April 5, , Presidential Radio Address:
  • The people of Ukraine and Georgia are an inspiration to the world and I was pleased that this week NATO declared that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of NATO.
  • A new idea, especially one which arises suddenly and is clever or creative.
  • * 1895 , , (The Time Machine) , ch. 1:
  • After an interval the Psychologist had an inspiration . "It must have gone into the past if it has gone anywhere," he said.
  • * 1916 , (Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton), Mrs. Balfame , ch. 15:
  • Mrs. Balfame had an inspiration . "My God!" she exclaimed, springing to her feet, "the murderer . . . was hidden in the cellar or attic all night, all the next day! He may be here yet!"
  • * 2007 July 1, Sylviane Gold, " Scenery Chewer Plays It Straight, Methodically," New York Times (retrieved 3 Sept. 2013):
  • [H]e accompanied her to a rehearsal of a skit satirizing “Casablanca,” and the director had an inspiration : Wouldn’t it be a laugh to cast a 10-year-old as Rick?


    * (physiology) (l) * (stimulation of creativity or intellect) (l), (l), (l)


    * (physiology) (l)

    Derived terms

    * (l)


    * ----


    Alternative forms

    * enquiry


  • The act of inquiring; a seeking of information by asking questions; interrogation; a question or questioning.
  • Search for truth, information, or knowledge; examination of facts or principles; research; investigation; as, physical inquiries.
  • Usage notes

    According to Fowler's Modern English Usage'' (1926), ''inquiry'' should be used in relation to a formal inquest, and ''enquiry'' to the act of questioning. Many (though not all) British writers maintain this distinction; the Oxford English Dictionary, in its entry not updated since 1900, lists ''inquiry'' and ''enquiry'' as equal alternatives, in that order. Some British dictionaries, such as ''Chambers 21st Century Dictionary'' [], present the two spellings as interchangeable variants in the general sense, but prefer ''inquiry'' for the "formal inquest" sense. In Australian English, ''inquiry'' represents a formal inquest (such as a government investigation) while ''enquiry'' is used in the act of questioning (eg: the customer enquired about the status of his loan application). Both spellings are current in Canadian English, where ''enquiry'' is often associated with scholarly or intellectual research. (See Pam Peters, ''The Cambridge Guide to English Usage , p. 282.) American English usually uses inquiry .