em·​bold·​en | \ im-ˈbōl-dən How to pronounce embolden (audio) \
emboldened; emboldening; emboldens

Definition of embolden

transitive verb

: to instill with boldness or courage

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Choose the Right Synonym for embolden

encourage, inspirit, hearten, embolden mean to fill with courage or strength of purpose. encourage suggests the raising of one's confidence especially by an external agency. the teacher's praise encouraged the students to greater efforts inspirit, somewhat literary, implies instilling life, energy, courage, or vigor into something. patriots inspirited the people to resist hearten implies the lifting of dispiritedness or despondency by an infusion of fresh courage or zeal. a hospital patient heartened by good news embolden implies the giving of courage sufficient to overcome timidity or reluctance. emboldened by her first success, she tried an even more difficult climb

Examples of embolden in a Sentence

his poor showing in his first swim meet just emboldened him to train even harder

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2017, neo-Nazis and white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and credited Trump for emboldening them. German Lopez, Vox, "Trump: the media never blamed Obama for the Charleston church shooting," 30 Oct. 2018 Trump, under pressure but also emboldened by the response to all this, is now dangling pardons for Manafort. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump’s talk of pardoning Manafort is a clear abuse of power," 29 Nov. 2018 While many in party leadership have shied away from those demands, Waters and her allies are emboldened by the prospect of Democrats retaking the House in the midterms and, potentially, using a majority to launch impeachment proceedings. Andrew O'reilly, Fox News, "Maxine Waters goes on Trump 'impeachment' tear, vows to 'get him'," 10 Sep. 2018 Protesters were emboldened by a five-page opinion issued by Attorney General Andy Beshear on July 2 that said state police had broken the law by refusing the members entry into the building. Zahria Rogers, The Courier-Journal, "Anti-poverty activists finally allowed to enter the Kentucky Capitol," 10 July 2018 Activists feel emboldened by a recent agreement in principle in New York City to subsidize fares for as many as 800,000 residents who live below the poverty line. Adam Vaccaro, BostonGlobe.com, "Groups want the T to provide fare discounts for low-income riders," 6 July 2018 Hindu nationalists have also been emboldened and there have been a rise in attacks on Muslims and other minorities. Vidhi Doshi, Washington Post, "Goa’s agriculture minister wants farmers to use ‘cosmic farming’ instead of fertilizer," 4 July 2018 But in the wake of Mr. Trump’s victory, business leaders may be emboldened to mount their own campaigns. David Gelles, New York Times, "Schultz 2020? Other C.E.O.s Will Be Watching Closely," 4 June 2018 The Trump administration would have felt much more emboldened had there not been this enormous opposition. Sean Illing, Vox, "How to protest Trump," 8 Nov. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for embolden

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embolden

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

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English Language Learners Definition of embolden

: to make (someone) more confident

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