dis·​cour·​age di-ˈskər-ij How to pronounce discourage (audio)
discouraged; discouraging

transitive verb

: to deprive of courage or confidence : dishearten
was discouraged by repeated failure
: to hinder by disfavoring
trying to discourage absenteeism
: to dissuade or attempt to dissuade from doing something
tried to discourage her from going
discourageable adjective
discourager noun
discouragingly adverb

Examples of discourage in a Sentence

Try not to let losing discourage you. The area's dry climate discourages agriculture. He claims the new regulations will discourage investment. That type of behavior ought to be discouraged.
Recent Examples on the Web In an interview with Jennifer Aniston for Variety's Actors on Actors series, Brunson, 34, revealed that before her hit series Abbott Elementary got picked up, she was getting discouraged about her future in the entertainment industry. Liza Esquibias, Peoplemag, 6 June 2024 Roads can be built to discourage or enable dangerous driving. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2024 State officials returned to the area Friday and transported the calf to a state wildlife lab for care, and wildlife officers will continue to haze cow elk in the area as needed to discourage them from interacting with humans, agency officials said. Katie Langford, The Denver Post, 1 June 2024 The group also has been investigating whether school workers were discouraged from calling 911 in emergencies. Jennifer Smith Richards, ProPublica, 31 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for discourage 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'discourage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English discoragen, from Middle French descorager, from Old French descoragier, from des- dis- + corage courage

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of discourage was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near discourage

Cite this Entry

“Discourage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discourage. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​cour·​age dis-ˈkər-ij How to pronounce discourage (audio)
discouraged; discouraging
: to lessen the courage or confidence of : dishearten
didn't let losing discourage me
: to make less likely or appealing : deter
laws that discourage speeding
: to advise against a course of action : dissuade
discouraged careless work
discouragingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on discourage

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