dis·​cour·​age·​ment | \ di-ˈskər-ij-mənt How to pronounce discouragement (audio) , -ˈkə-rij- \

Definition of discouragement

1 : the act of discouraging : the state of being discouraged
2 : something that discourages

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Examples of discouragement in a Sentence

the discouragement of drug use among teenagers She expressed discouragement over the difficulty of finding a good job. The team's losses have left fans with a feeling of discouragement. He says that the tax is a discouragement to doing business in this state. Despite the discouragements of the past week, we need to continue moving forward.
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Recent Examples on the Web Céline Dion has some friendly words of discouragement for fellow Canadian, Drake. Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "Céline Dion implores Drake not to tattoo her face on his body: 'Don’t do that'," 20 Sep. 2019 The other source of discouragement was a campaign led by Schillings, a British law firm acting for Mr Low. The Economist, "The story behind “Billion Dollar Whale”," 19 Sep. 2019 Gun control experts say the open-carry discouragements are not empty gestures. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "Retailers Walk Thin Line by Asking, Not Telling, Shoppers Not to Carry Guns," 9 Sep. 2019 Instead, everybody helped one another, offering kind corrections and hugs when discouragement hit. Rachael Denhollander, SI.com, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Competitive Gymnastics," 9 Sep. 2019 Gradually, however, my discouragement turned to curiosity. Matt Fuchs, Washington Post, "Be like Serena and Roger: Older amateurs offer tips for maintaining your athletic edge.," 26 Aug. 2019 Parson James After facing discouragement about being open with his sexuality, Parson James made advocacy part of his artistry. Ellise Shafer, Billboard, "Daya, Shea Diamond, K.Flay & More Talk Being Queer Emerging Artists at Billboard Pride Summit," 8 Aug. 2019 Also criticized in the report was Comey’s decision, despite the discouragement of the Justice Department, to reveal to Congress that the FBI was reopening the investigation following the discovery of new emails. Anne Flaherty, Time, "Trump Still Says the FBI Was 'Plotting Against My Election'," 15 June 2018 Even in the new, bigger bins, the cardboard doesn’t always fit, a common discouragement to household recycling. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Blue bins overflow with Amazon and Walmart boxes. But we're actually recycling less," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discouragement.' 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 discouragement

1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for discouragement

Time Traveler

The first known use of discouragement was in 1561

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Statistics for discouragement

Last Updated

21 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Discouragement.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discouragement?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=d&file=discou10. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for discouragement


How to pronounce discouragement (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of discouragement

: the act of making something less likely to happen or of making people less likely to do something
: a feeling of having lost hope or confidence
: something (such as a failure or difficulty) that discourages someone

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More from Merriam-Webster on discouragement

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discouragement

Spanish Central: Translation of discouragement

Nglish: Translation of discouragement for Spanish Speakers

Comments on discouragement

What made you want to look up discouragement? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


very cautious or careful

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