encourage

verb
en·​cour·​age | \in-ˈkər-ij, -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

She and Andreas [Kronthaler, Westwood’s husband] are always supportive and encourage me to keep fighting and using my voice. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Kim, Kate, Juergen, Pam, and More Cheer on Vivienne Westwood as She Receives an Honor from the Fashion Awards," 5 Dec. 2018 But there’s reason to believe that current grid architecture is not well-suited to enabling and encouraging them. David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt.," 30 Nov. 2018 Others took the opportunity to encourage her to block out the negativity. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Last Man Standing' Fans Shut Down Molly McCook's Haters After Recast Drama," 29 Oct. 2018 Jupiter’s expansive energy will feed off of Sagittarius’s wildfire, encouraging us to find real solutions to systemic problems. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's November Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 28 Oct. 2018 This leads to dehydration that in turn encourages them to drink large volumes of water. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "Why Am I Always Thirsty?," 22 Oct. 2018 Providing 24-hour access to a workplace with comfy perks might just encourage us to work more. Ellen Freeman, Curbed, "I lived in a Tokyo coworking space," 28 Sep. 2018 Then Nate handed me a cup of coffee and Jeremiah encouraged me to actually sit down, first at the Soane sectional (also from their line), before telling me to make myself at home. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Nate Berkus And Jeremiah Brent's New Faux-Shearling Chairs Are Chicest, Coziest Things Ever," 26 Sep. 2018 For much of the past decade, analysts have expressed alarm as a prolonged period of low interest rates has encouraged U.S. companies to add large amounts of debt to their balance sheets. Sam Goldfarb, WSJ, "Debt-Market Slowdown Troubles Investors," 18 Nov. 2018

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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Learn More about encourage

Statistics for encourage

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for encourage

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

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More Definitions for encourage

encourage

verb

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

encourage

verb
en·​cour·​age | \in-ˈkər-ij \
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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