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

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Other Words from discourage

discourageable \ di-​ˈskər-​i-​jə-​bəl How to pronounce discourageable (audio) , -​ˈskə-​ri-​ \ adjective
discourager noun
discouragingly \ di-​ˈskər-​i-​jiŋ-​lē How to pronounce discouragingly (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The shelter-in-place restriction were put in place in May to discourage outsiders from visiting the county and potentially exacerbating the spread of the coronavirus. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: June 24-25," 27 June 2020 These approaches might not discourage authorities from using the technology, however, which potentially opens up other problems. Karen Kwon, Scientific American, "How to Protect Yourself during Protests," 26 June 2020 The decision to elevate the investigation comes as hospital workers told New Mexico In Depth and ProPublica that the hospital appeared to hide documents and discourage cooperation with state investigators. Bryant Furlow, ProPublica, "A Hospital Was Accused of Racially Profiling Native American Women. Staff Said Administrators Impeded an Investigation.," 22 June 2020 National Institutes of Health guidelines also discourage use of the drugs outside of clinical trials. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "FDA pulls emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine, the drug touted by Trump as COVID-19 remedy," 15 June 2020 Wednesday’s smaller crowd did not discourage Leah Derray of Indy10 Black Lives Matter. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "150 gather at Monument Circle for 13th day of protests," 11 June 2020 Signs will be posted to discourage hand-shaking, furniture in common areas removed, and extensive cleaning protocols, including to equipment, will take place multiple times a day. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "NFL memo shows how dangerous football can be in face of coronavirus | Opinion," 8 June 2020 Popular Mobilization, commonly known as Pop Mob, doesn’t discourage people who chose to affect change by destroying property. oregonlive, "What’s the right way to protest George Floyd’s death? Thousands in Portland say peacefully, but some say with violence," 6 June 2020 Lots at roughly half of the 280 state parks, beaches and historic sites had been shut for more than two months to discourage overcrowding and spreading the coronavirus. Los Angeles Times, "After two months, parking lots reopen at many California state parks and beaches," 3 June 2020

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.

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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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Statistics for discourage

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Discourage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discourage. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for discourage


How to pronounce discourage (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of discourage

: to make (someone) less determined, hopeful, or confident
: to make (something) less likely to happen
: to try to make people not want to do (something)


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

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Comments on discourage

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