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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Like Chicago, the county previously loosened outdoor gathering limits in order to encourage socializing in a safer setting than indoors. Alice Yin, chicagotribune.com, "COVID-19 restrictions, including indoor dining ban, ‘may very well’ return soon in suburban Cook County, public health official says," 3 Apr. 2021 Climate envoy John Kerry is traveling to India and the United Arab Emirates beginning today as part of his effort to encourage countries to increase their commitments to reduce emissions this decade. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Biden tries to get utility industry on board with clean power agenda," 1 Apr. 2021 The remedy, doctors said, is an effort throughout the health care industry to encourage people to be tested or treated. Verne Kopytoff, Fortune, "COVID’s indirect toll: Obesity, missed medical screenings, and more drug overdoses," 1 Apr. 2021 It was chosen last year to administer the city’s ceremonial first COVID-19 vaccination as part of efforts to encourage residents in West Side neighborhoods to get vaccinated. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Chef initiative, ice fishing trash, Tribeca plans: News from around our 50 states," 31 Mar. 2021 Republicans, however, despise mail voting and see any effort to encourage its use as a problem. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Garcia: GOP feeds the Big Lie with systematic voter suppression," 31 Mar. 2021 Grossman Solutions, which already has a state contract through Access Health CT, will be paid from a $24 million fund of federal money the state is receiving as part of a Biden administration effort to encourage more people to get vaccinated. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "Connecticut will hire 71-member ‘campaign’ team to push COVID-19 vaccination in 10 cities," 26 Mar. 2021 The company, which began a year ago as part of an effort to encourage people to grow more plants, already features 17 gardens in Los Angeles. San Diego Union-Tribune, "WorldBeat’s EthnoBotany Peace Garden links serenity with learning," 26 Mar. 2021 That added to recent efforts to encourage the growth of fintechs to give consumers more options and to pull unbanked Brazilians into the formal financial system. Paulo Trevisani, WSJ, "Brazil’s Central Bank Uses Payment Platform to Spur Competition," 26 Mar. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for encourage

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for encourage

Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Encourage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encourage. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for encourage



English Language Learners Definition of encourage

: 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


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.

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Comments on encourage

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