dis·​cour·​age | \ di-ˈskər-ij How to pronounce discourage (audio) , -ˈskə-rij \
discouraged; discouraging

Definition of discourage

transitive verb

1 : to deprive of courage or confidence : dishearten was discouraged by repeated failure
2a : to hinder by disfavoring trying to discourage absenteeism
b : to dissuade or attempt to dissuade from doing something tried to discourage her from going

Other Words from discourage

discourageable \ di-​ˈskər-​i-​jə-​bəl How to pronounce discourage (audio) , -​ˈskə-​ri-​ \ adjective
discourager noun
discouragingly \ di-​ˈskər-​i-​jiŋ-​lē How to pronounce discourage (audio) , -​ˈkə-​ri-​ \ 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 Called a de facto ban by many, the law aims to discourage polystyrene use by requiring a 25 percent reduction by 2025. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 July 2022 On Tuesday, the agency announced plans to slash nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes as a way to discourage use of the most deadly of legal consumer products. Matt Richtel And Andrew Jacobs, BostonGlobe.com, 23 June 2022 On Tuesday, the agency announced plans to slash nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes as a way to discourage use of the most deadly of legal consumer products. New York Times, 23 June 2022 The tax raises revenue while aiming to discourage tobacco use; like fees, tobacco tax revenues are usually deposited into a special fund and are used to defray the costs of addressing the societal harms resulting from tobacco use. Roxanne Bland, Forbes, 6 June 2022 Already, various governments have put a price on carbon emissions, launched carbon trading systems, and taken other actions to either discourage the use of fossil fuels or encourage the use of cleaner alternatives. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 10 May 2022 During Wednesday's debate, senators added a provision to require counties to staff each box — something that could further discourage their use. John Hanna, ajc, 24 Mar. 2022 But the officers' attorneys said seven of their eight clients were injured during clashes with protesters and that their use of bean bag rounds was authorized and specifically targeted to discourage the use of violence. Ashley Killough, CNN, 22 Feb. 2022 Wants state to use alternative methods to traditional policing to discourage crime by addressing its root causes, such as economic despair and behavioral health issues. Mallory Moench, Dustin Gardiner, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discourage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of discourage

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for discourage

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

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Time Traveler for discourage

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near discourage

discount rate



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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Discourage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discourage. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for discourage


dis·​cour·​age | \ dis-ˈkər-ij How to pronounce discourage (audio) \
discouraged; discouraging

Kids Definition of discourage

1 : to make less determined, hopeful, or confident Yet another failed attempt didn't discourage him.
2 : to make less likely to happen The law discourages speeding.
3 : to try to persuade not to do something Don't let them discourage you from trying out.

Other Words from discourage

discouragement \ -​mənt \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on discourage

Nglish: Translation of discourage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of discourage for Arabic Speakers


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