6 Words To Describe Someone Who Inspires You (And What It Means)

When you’re trying to come up with ways to describe someone who inspires you, you might be stumped at first. We’ve put together a list of the best synonyms that work to explain precisely that kind of person, and you can choose which one of them works best for you.

Which Words Can Describe Someone Who Inspires You?

There are plenty of great words we can use to describe someone who inspires us. In this article, we’ll look at the following:

  • Inspirational
  • Motivational
  • Source of inspiration
  • Motivator
  • Mentor
  • Muse
Which Words Can Describe Someone Who Inspires You?

The preferred version is “inspirational” because it’s an adjective that closely resembles what we’re looking for with “someone who inspires you.” We can also use it to talk about a specific person or a specific event (though we’ll focus on the “person” aspect in this article).


We’ll start with “inspirational,” which is the best way to describe someone who inspires you. Incidentally, it stays true to the root word “inspire,” which helps us to explain the meaning.

“Inspirational” means that someone can encourage other people and fill them with hope. We talk about inspirational people or speakers as people who make others feel good about themselves and encourage them to do better in their lives.

The definition of “inspirational,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “making you feel full of hope or encouraged.”

You don’t have to be an inspirational speaker for somebody to look up to you as an inspirational person. Sometimes, your actions are more than enough for most people. If you really want people to look up to you in that way, it mostly comes down to how you live your life.

It’s most likely that parents, siblings, loved ones, and famous people will take the reins as the most inspirational people around us. We might also look back to historical people who are no longer with us, especially those that paved the way to more modern inventions.

You might see “inspirational” written in the following ways:

  • No one is more inspirational than my favorite celebrity, and I challenge anyone to find a single person worthy!
  • You’re by far the most inspirational person in my life, and I can’t thank you enough.
  • Without your inspirational attitude, I think we’d all still be a little lost.


The word “motivational” is very similar to “inspirational.” We use it to talk about “Motivation,” which is a great way to try and encourage someone to stay enthusiastic about something.

We can use “motivational” to describe someone who provides motivation to others. Motivation is what causes people to be enthusiastic and proactive about something, allowing them to explore new and important avenues in their lives.

The definition of “motivational,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “able to make someone enthusiastic about something.”

Generally, if you lack motivation, you’ll struggle to move forward in your life or your career. For that reason, you’ll want to find someone who is motivational enough to keep you engaged, and you can use them as a great way to stay motivated.

Some people might talk about you as their “motivation,” which is a similar way of using “motivational.” However, if you are someone’s “motivation,” it means you and only you are the reason that they are enthusiastic, and they’d hate to see you leave them.

You may see “motivational” written as follows:

  • I’m a motivational speaker, which means I give power back to the people, and I allow them to talk through their problems in my seminars.
  • I love this guy; he’s so motivational! Without him, I wouldn’t be half as creative as I am today.
  • Thanks to the motivational qualities of my father, I’m here to apply for this job, which I thought was well out of my league!

Source Of Inspiration

A source of inspiration is somebody who inspires others. We use “source” to talk about the location where the inspiration is coming from, and when we use it to describe people, the “source” is their personality or their attitude in life.

It’s possible to talk about someone as a “source of inspiration” when you look to them for guidance. The meaning of “inspiration” is the same here as we’ve already explained, where people are giving us hope and encouragement.

You will be more likely to use “inspiration” when you’re talking about specific types of people or describing people. However, a “source of inspiration” is a much more personal thing, and it works great when you want to name-drop one person in particular.

It’s also a great thing to use when you’re in a job interview because it indicates your work ethic, based on who inspires you.

The following examples are a great way to use “source of inspiration:”

  • John has been a true source of inspiration for me over these last few years. Without him, I wouldn’t be here.
  • Have I ever told you that you’re the real source of inspiration for me and the reason that I’m still around?
  • She’s a source of inspiration for everyone in her life, and we don’t know what we would do without her.


A motivator is a person who causes other people to be motivated. It’s often their job (literally or figuratively) to make sure people are as enthusiastic about something as possible.

The definition of “motivator,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a person or thing that makes someone enthusiastic about doing something.”

You might consider a school teacher to be a motivator, as it’s their job to try and encourage children to be enthusiastic about what makes them happiest in life, which will eventually lead them down the right career path.

You might also think of a parent as a motivator, even though it’s not literally a job that they get paid for. However, it’s still up to the parents to make sure their children are as motivated as possible, so that they’ll live a happy life when they grow up.

Here are some great ways to use “motivator:”

  • I’m a motivator for the voiceless, and I constantly have young people coming up to me telling me how profound my meetings are.
  • You’re a motivator for all those who can’t speak for themselves, and I truly admire that spirit.
  • We’re both motivators, according to our children, though we don’t think we’ve done that great of a job ourselves!


A mentor is similar to a motivator, and it’s someone we look up to and learn from. We are often inspired by mentors because they give us experience that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to achieve.

The definition of “mentor,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a person who gives a younger or less experienced person help and advice over a period of time, especially at work or school.”

These are the best ways that you can use “mentor:”

  • You’ve been the best mentor I could ever ask for, and I hope you never forget me!
  • She’s his mentor, and he always talks about how wonderful she is.
  • They’re the best mentors I’ve ever had, and there’s got to be something I can do for them to show my appreciation.


“Muse” comes from The Muses in Ancient Greek mythology, which is a group of Goddesses of the Arts and Music. From this, we use the word “muse” to talk about someone who provides us with creativity or creative inspiration in some way.

The definition of “muse,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a person, or an imaginary being or force that gives someone ideas and helps them to write, paint, or make music.”

The word has deep roots in Greek culture, but it also works really well regardless of what language you use today. It’s best to use when someone inspires you to be better at a creative outlet of some kind (like making music or painting).

It will help you to look at these examples as a great way to learn how “muse” works:

  • He is my muse, and I look up to him and everything he does.
  • Picasso is my muse. Without his famous artwork, I never would have picked up a paintbrush.
  • You’re my muse, and I wish you could understand just how amazing I think you are!

What Does It Mean When Someone Inspires You?

Now that we’ve gone over all the best synonyms, it might help to look a little closer at what it means if someone inspires you.

When someone inspires you, it means that they do things that make you want to live the same way they do. You want to try and recreate their successes or be like them because you respect them and look up to them.

It’s common for parents, loved ones, and celebrities to be the most inspirational people in our lives. Generally, we’ll look to them for guidance to try and find a way to deal with something or to find a way to improve our own lives.

Inspiration comes when we’re trying to look for things that are going to make us feel better about ourselves. You can find it just about anywhere, and any person could end up being someone who inspires you.

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