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 The team is also interviewing for internships at the job fair and applicants are encouraged to bring resumes. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, "Want to work for the Trash Pandas? Team to hold job fair," 17 Jan. 2020 They are also encouraged to sign up for Pearland’s e-notification system called Everbridge by logging on to www. Carissa D. Lamkahouan, Houston Chronicle, "Completion nears for trail crossing Clear Creek in east Pearland," 14 Jan. 2020 Fans are being encouraged to sign up for their mailing list to get additional details. Alicia Lee, CNN, "Rammstein hints at 2020 North American tour," 14 Jan. 2020 Anyone with information on Sparrow or his whereabouts is encouraged to call 513-979-4400. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Police are asking for help locating a missing 51-year-old out of Pleasant Ridge," 10 Jan. 2020 Employees are encouraged to speak their views and openly challenge the views of others. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "World's largest hedge fund crushed by average investors in 2019," 10 Jan. 2020 Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Roswell Police Department at (575) 624-6770 or dial 911. Fox News, "Amber Alert issued in New Mexico for missing boy, 3, after mom found dead in home," 9 Jan. 2020 Interestingly, beverages like coffee, matcha green tea, and red wine are encouraged — as is a heavy reliance on 85% dark chocolate. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "What Is the Sirtfood Diet? Inside Adele's Reported New Weight Loss Program," 9 Jan. 2020 Moreover, now fishermen are encouraged to bring more and more waste. Haritha John, Quartz India, "Fish meal and fish oil industries are wiping out India’s marine resources," 8 Jan. 2020

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

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Encourage.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encourage?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=e&file=encour01. Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for encourage


How to pronounce encourage (audio)

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

What made you want to look up encourage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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