en·​cour·​age | \ in-ˈkər-ij How to pronounce encourage (audio) , -ˈkə-rij, en- \
encouraged; encouraging

Definition of encourage

transitive verb

1a : to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope : hearten she was encouraged to continue by her early success
b : to attempt to persuade : urge they encouraged him to go back to school
2 : to spur on : stimulate warm weather encourages plant growth
3 : to give help or patronage to : foster government grants designed to encourage conservation

Other Words from encourage

encourager noun

Choose the Right Synonym for encourage

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 encourage in a Sentence

They encouraged us in our work. Encourage each other with kind words. The program is meant to encourage savings. Warm weather encourages plant growth. He claims the new regulations will encourage investment. He claims the new regulations will encourage people to invest. We want to encourage students to read more. My parents encouraged me to go back to college. They encouraged her to go. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The bill’s provisions also greatly encourage domestic manufacturing of clean energy technologies that need to be deployed at a rapid rate across the economy, helping to onshore jobs, helping to increase GDP by 0.84-0.88% in 2030. Energy Innovation: Policy And Technology, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 The threat of delistings may encourage other U.S.-listed Chinese companies to launch primary listings in Hong Kong, which would boost the city’s flagging stock market. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 1 Aug. 2022 County officials encourage people suffering from substance abuse to seek treatment options by calling the county’s Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240, calling 9-8-8 or by calling 2-1-1. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Aug. 2022 The bill would also encourage automakers to use batteries that are sourced and assembled in North America, limiting the value of importing EVs from China. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 30 July 2022 Dedham police encourage anyone with information about the dog’s owner to call Dedham Animal Control at 781-751-9106 or police at 781-326-1212. BostonGlobe.com, 29 July 2022 Importantly, the new tax credit will encourage cars and their constituent parts to get made in North America. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 28 July 2022 During Chica Nights on the weekends, live bands or DJs encourage revelry with Latin, pop and crossover music. Andy Wang, Robb Report, 27 July 2022 Still, the league will strongly encourage players, coaches and staffers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'encourage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of encourage

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for encourage

Middle English encoragen, from Anglo-French encorager, from en- + curage courage

Learn More About encourage

Time Traveler for encourage

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near encourage

encounter group



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Statistics for encourage

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Encourage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encourage. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for encourage


en·​cour·​age | \ in-ˈkər-ij How to pronounce encourage (audio) \
encouraged; encouraging

Kids Definition of encourage

1 : make more determined, hopeful, or confident : hearten Cheering fans encouraged the team.
2 : to give help or support to : aid Warm weather encourages plant growth.

Other Words from encourage

encouragingly adverb "Great job," she said encouragingly.

More from Merriam-Webster on encourage

Nglish: Translation of encourage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of encourage for Arabic Speakers


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