‘Afflatus’ is an originally Latin word, imported into English in the seventeenth century, which is rarely used in contemporary speech or writing, but undeservedly so. Its etymology (according to the OED) is as follows:
Origin: A borrowing from Latin. Etymon: Latin afflātus.
Etymology: < classical Latin afflātus emission of breath, breathing on, pestilential or fiery breath, aspiration, breeze or wind, vapour, exhalation, blast of hot air, inspiration, in post-classical Latin also sudden attack of erysipelas (1743)
The contemporary meanings, as registered by several online dictionaries, are:
The communication of supernatural or spiritual knowledge; divine impulse; inspiration, esp. poetic inspiration. Also: an instance of this.
Inspiration; an impelling mental force acting from within.
divine communication of knowledge.
divine imparting of knowledge or power : supernatural or overmastering impulse
Here is a sentence using the word from an earlier post (May 8, 2009):
“His look of total incomprehension as we descended punctured the afflatus I was feeling at my literary mot juste.”