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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Bronfenbrenner said the PRO Act, coupled with continued public scrutiny, could discourage companies from taking extreme action against strikes. NBC News, 14 Oct. 2021 Cohen said that arguments like Abbot’s discourage greater minority participation in the STEM specialties — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. BostonGlobe.com, 14 Oct. 2021 The editorial board fears the expansion would discourage parents from working. WSJ, 28 Sep. 2021 Dan Richard, a former chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority Board, said uncertainty about how much the state will approve could discourage investment from both the federal government and private industry. Dustin Gardiner, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Sep. 2021 Legal ambiguities might discourage doctors from using the products in a way that is not recommended, said Penn State's Lynch. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 24 Aug. 2021 The cookies have a one-year shelf life, but selling them outside of the window designated as Girl Scout Cookie Time might discourage sales in the future. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 15 June 2021 The government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has relied on voluntary cooperation, taking a hands-off approach so as not to discourage life-saving innovations. Tom Krisher, Star Tribune, 21 May 2021 The gifts were moved from outside Buckingham Palace to the private gardens at Marlborough House, as to discourage crowding during the pandemic. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, 15 Apr. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near discourage

discount rate



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Statistics for discourage

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Discourage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discourage. Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for discourage



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

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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