[Origin: 1655–65; < L afflātus a breathing on, equiv. to af- af- + flā- (s. of flāre to blow) + -tus suffix of v. action]
Afflatus is from Latin afflatus, past participle of afflare, "to blow at or breath on," from ad- + flare, "to puff, to blow." Other words with the same root include deflate (de- "out of" + flare; inflate (in- "into" + flare); souffle', the "puffed up" dish (from French souffler, "to puff", from Latin sufflare, "to blow from below, hence "to blow up, to puff up," from sub-"below" + flare); and flatulent.
1. A breath or blast of wind.
2. A divine impartation of knowledge; supernatural impulse; inspiration.
"Aristophanes must have eclipsed them...by the exhibition of some diviner faculty, some higher spiritual afflatus."
--John Addington Symonds, Studies of the Greek Poets
"The miraculous spring that nourished Homer's afflatus seems out of reach of today's writers, whose desprate yearning for inspiration only indicates the coming of an age of exhaustion."
--Benzi Zhang "Paradox of Origin(ality), Studies in Short Fiction, March 22, 1995