English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've seen inspire mean two things,

  1. To be inspired to go out and make a difference
  2. To be inspired, and feel good about something.

Is there a better word to refer to the first definition? I want to say I was inspired to act.

share|improve this question
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Maybe the word motivated, as in I was motivated by that speech to act in a particular fashion.

share|improve this answer

I would highly suggest galvanize.

v. to inspire or stimulate someone to act. - Yourdictionary.com


Although he was now middle-aged, Amundsen, like many others, was galvanized to take a stand in response to actions he considered dishonourable. - The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen

share|improve this answer
What a great answer. I've edited to 1) fit our answering 'recommendations'. If you don't approve of the edit, please feel free to roll back. :) – medica Sep 15 '15 at 23:57
Galvanized is not correct because it is usually used for groups of people. – michael_timofeev Sep 16 '15 at 1:21
@michael_timofeev, it is often used for groups, but not anywhere near always. You can use it for individuals, as in the cited example, with no confusion. – Hellion Oct 1 '15 at 13:26

You were motivated.

Google dictionary, sense 2:

motivated (past participle, past tense of mo·ti·vate) Verb:
1. Provide (someone) with a motive for doing something.
2. Stimulate (someone's) interest in or enthusiasm for doing something.

share|improve this answer

I would also suggest stirred, as in I was stirred to action.

Merriam-Webster defines To stir as: to rouse to activity : evoke strong feelings in

According to Oxford Dictionaries it can mean: (1) arouse strong feeling in (someone); move or excite; and (2) arouse or prompt (a feeling or memory) or inspire (the imagination).

Note that it is still necessary to explicitly say what you were stirred into doing something. I don't know of any one word that conveys both the inspiration as well as the consequent action.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.