dis·cour·age | \dis-ˈkər-ij, -ˈkə-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 \-jə-bəl \ adjective
discourager noun
discouragingly \-jiŋ-lē \ 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 show’s report also repeated a long-running accusation by the pilots union that the airline discourages pilots from reporting mechanical problems with planes. Hugo Martin, latimes.com, "Allegiant pilots vote to strike if dispute over scheduling system isn't resolved," 9 July 2018 Bob, who works in public relations for Narcotics Anonymous World Services, confirmed that some groups may discourage people from actively participating. Katrine Jo Andersen, The New Republic, "Rejected by A.A.," 27 June 2018 Consumer confidence data released Tuesday could be one early sign that tighter trade policies may discourage spending, Mr. Lyngen said in a research note. Danielle Chemtob, WSJ, "U.S. Treasury Yields Steady After Volatile Session," 26 June 2018 And as George, the Michigan teacher, points out, the exclusion of pre-1450 C.E. material from the AP exam could discourage even the most dedicated teachers from prioritizing that material in class. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The Controversy Over Just How Much History AP World History Should Cover," 13 June 2018 The speaker has said that could discourage conservative voters who are a crucial part of the party’s base and depress turnout for Republican candidates in November’s congressional elections. Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg.com, "House GOP Meets Again on Immigration as Deal Remains Elusive," 12 June 2018 At the news conference, Rosenthal mentioned that the monetary penalties for filing such lawsuits have typically discouraged victims and their families from taking such legal action. Matthew Vann /, NBC News, "Parkland families sue gun manufacturer and dealer, citing complicity," 24 May 2018 Also, the skimpy supplies are pushing up prices, another factor that could be discouraging some buyers. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Mortgage interest rates 2018: Rates hit 7-year high, slow home sales," 24 May 2018 But part of the problem is that strong and outspoken women are discouraged from running or hounded out by attacks, leaving candidates who are less accomplished and more pliable. The Economist, "Female candidates are facing a backlash in Iraq," 8 May 2018

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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Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for discourage

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

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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 \
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

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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