What are some grandiloquent, or simply better, ways of expressing "an idea/thought suddenly came to me", or "an idea/thought struck me", or "I was struck by an idea/thought"?


I had an epiphany.

(a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization)

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    Why not Eureka? – Pacerier May 13 '17 at 5:53

An "Aha!" moment.

Or, "I had a sudden insight."

Or, "It finally dawned on me!"

Or, "I experienced a paradigm shift."

Or, "Suddenly, all the pieces fit together in one moment of inspiration!"

Or, "A revelatory moment."

Or, "An intuitive perception."

Or, "A mental breakthrough."

Or, "A eureka moment."

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If you are writing primarily for everyday communication (e.g. email or chat), then always find the simplest language, while still being professional. In this case, you can simply say something like:

It just hit me, ...

It just struck me, ...

If you are writing longer form and want to be more expressive/stylistic, many of the answers above are great.

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An idea just popped into my head. From Cambridge Dictionaries:

Something that pops into your head/mind is an idea that you suddenly have
(He jotted down story ideas that popped into his head.)

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    This has the potential for a good answer. If, and only if, you explain why it is a good expression. Please add some objective source and an explanation. Have a look at the help center to find out about good answers. – Helmar Aug 24 '16 at 16:28

brainwave (ODO)


2 [USUALLY IN SINGULAR] informal A sudden clever idea: then he had a brainwave

More example sentences

I was fingering my car keys, wondering if my perverse appetite would last all the way to Tesco's and back, when I had a sudden brainwave.

Anyway, as she went on and got more and more into it, I had a sudden brainwave.

Those words hit Rick like stones, a brainwave and an idea quickly ensued.

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A light bulb moment

Informal a moment of sudden inspiration, revelation, or recognition
[from the cartoon image of a light bulb lighting up above a character's head when he or she has an idea]

Related to the concept of light providing an answer, is the noun

illumination "In a moment of illumination" TFD

  1. spiritual or intellectual enlightenment; insight or understanding
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