encourage

verb
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

Americans were once encouraged to speak freely to and at our political bosses. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Put coward Florida cop in prison, and who’s next? The social worker? The teacher? The politician?," 6 June 2019 Harris County residents interested in temporarily fostering a shelter animal for two-three weeks are encouraged to email foster@phs.hctx.net. Joy Sewing, Houston Chronicle, "These Harris County animals will be euthanize if not adopted, fostered," 5 June 2019 Attendees are encouraged to bring their own water bottle in an effort to save more than 6,000 plastic water bottles at a water station for refills throughout the day. Austen Erblat, sun-sentinel.com, "Father’s Day car show benefiting Make-A-Wish will have something for everyone," 4 June 2019 Lovullo was encouraged by his brief stint with the club. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "Outfielder David Peralta returns from shoulder injury to Diamondbacks lineup," 3 June 2019 When Mercury, the communication planet, enters Taurus on Monday, May 6, being outgoing is encouraged. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What May’s Cancer Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 Apr. 2019 According to the recounting of events years later, Chance’s dad nudged him and tried to encourage him to join the girls on stage. Vogue, "Chance the Rapper Shares the First Photos From His Wedding," 11 Mar. 2019 Use the hashtag #ComeAsYouAre on Instagram and constantly try to encourage self-respect, support others, and embrace your genuine self on the platform. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "5 Body Positive Influencers Share How They Learned to Love Their Bodies," 26 Feb. 2019 Some educators are now trying to encourage even younger students to take classes that offer college credits. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "The Benefits of Starting College Early—in High School," 10 Feb. 2019

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

9 Jun 2019

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 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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