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 group gathered for several hours and agreed to several actions aimed at discouraging migrants from coming north illegally. Fox News, "DHS, Central American governments gather to talk migration," 11 July 2018 He was named in suits filed by Carlson and former network contributors Julie Roginsky and Andrea Tantaros for his role in allegedly discouraging women at the network from taking their harassment claims to court. BostonGlobe.com, "President Trump hires former Fox News executive as communications aide," 5 July 2018 The increase came in the face of Trump administration policies that would have the effect of discouraging enrollment. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Trump's own figures show that Obamacare is working well for the vast majority of enrollees," 3 July 2018 Instead of getting discouraged after the March defeat, the Friends got mad. Logan Jenkins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Cliff-hanger update: 3 damsels no longer distressed," 2 July 2018 Downtown's west side lagged that pace until recent years — with the empty cinema playing a role in discouraging investment. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Symphony's $89 million concert hall will have huge impact on downtown's west side," 15 June 2018 But the premiere makes for discouraging Father’s Day viewing. 9 p.m. Sunday, June 17, Showtime. Ellen Gray, Philly.com, "TV picks: 'Shades of Blue,' a North Philly 'Quest,' 'Yellowstone,' 'Luke Cage' and more," 15 June 2018 The international community views exclusion from blocs like the G7 to be a key pressure tactic for discouraging Russia from meddling in other countries. Zeeshan Aleem, Vox, "Trump wants Russia invited back into the G7," 8 June 2018 But opponents say the programs increase drug spending on expensive brand-name drugs by discouraging people from using more cost-effective alternatives. Special To The Oregonian, OregonLive.com, "Prescription drug copay help: 2018 changes leave patients paying more," 4 June 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

11 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for discourage

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

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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

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