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

Definition of embolden

transitive verb

: to impart boldness or courage to : to instill with boldness, courage, or resolution enough to overcome timidity or misgiving Great leaders embolden the rest of us to rise to our highest potentialities, to be active, insistent and resolute in affirming our own sense of things.— Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. … being near her twin did seem to embolden her, to loosen her tongue.— John Updike … other voices too timid to speak in class are often emboldened by the different and more protected role an on-line conversation provides.— Richard A. Lanham

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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 Yes, women are empowered, but organizations must encourage them to pursue new opportunities, emphasize women's contributions to corporate goals and embolden women to seek positions at the highest levels of the organization. Emily Rogers, Forbes, 28 June 2021 The successful showing by traditional parties in this year’s regional elections is likely to embolden their presidential candidates in challenging Mr. Macron as the standard-bearer of establishment politics in the country. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, 27 June 2021 Minnesota conservations officials are concerned that dry conditions around the state will embolden black bears seeking food from dumpsters, cabins and even homes. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, 22 June 2021 And analysts have previously cautioned that Trump’s behavior after the 2020 election will continue to embolden autocrats who manipulate electoral processes to hold onto power. BostonGlobe.com, 16 June 2021 And analysts have previously cautioned that Trump’s behavior after the 2020 election will continue to embolden autocrats who manipulate electoral processes to hold onto power. Washington Post, 16 June 2021 Antitrust experts say the bills would embolden enforcers, who have become constrained by court decisions that have narrowed interpretations of century-old antitrust laws. Cecilia Kang, New York Times, 11 June 2021 The dismissal of a lawsuit by Texas hospital workers who challenged their employer’s Covid-19 vaccination requirement could embolden other companies to mandate shots for their workers, experts said Monday. NBC News, 11 June 2021 Butterworth, a church member living in Idaho, is among a contingent of mental health professionals who fear Natasha Helfer's ouster will further embolden a culture of shame. Fox News, 9 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for embolden

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for embolden

Last Updated

12 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Embolden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embolden. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for embolden



English Language Learners Definition of embolden

: to make (someone) more confident

More from Merriam-Webster on embolden

Nglish: Translation of embolden for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embolden for Arabic Speakers


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