encourage

verb en·cour·age \ in-ˈkər-ij , -ˈkə-rij , en- \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of encourage

encouraged; encouraging
transitive verb
1 a : 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

encourager

noun

Examples of encourage in a Sentence

  1. They encouraged us in our work.

  2. Encourage each other with kind words.

  3. The program is meant to encourage savings.

  4. Warm weather encourages plant growth.

  5. He claims the new regulations will encourage investment.

  6. He claims the new regulations will encourage people to invest.

  7. We want to encourage students to read more.

  8. My parents encouraged me to go back to college.

  9. They encouraged her to go.

Recent Examples of encourage from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of encourage

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

ENCOURAGE Defined for English Language Learners

encourage

verb

Definition of encourage for English Language Learners

  • : to make (someone) more determined, hopeful, or confident

  • : to make (something) more appealing or more likely to happen

  • : to make (someone) more likely to do something : to tell or advise (someone) to do something


ENCOURAGE Defined for Kids

encourage

verb en·cour·age \ in-ˈkər-ij \

Definition of encourage for Students

encouraged; encouraging
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.

encouragingly

adverb
  • “Great job,” she said encouragingly.


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