Synonyms & Antonyms of embolden

to fill with courage or strength of purpose
  • his poor showing in his first swim meet just emboldened him to train even harder

Synonyms for embolden

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Antonyms for embolden

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Frequently Asked Questions About embolden

How does the verb embolden differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of embolden are encourage, hearten, and inspirit. While all these words mean "to fill with courage or strength of purpose," embolden implies the giving of courage sufficient to overcome timidity or reluctance.

emboldened by her first success, she tried an even more difficult climb

When might encourage be a better fit than embolden?

While the synonyms encourage and embolden are close in meaning, encourage suggests the raising of one's confidence especially by an external agency.

the teacher's praise encouraged the students to greater efforts

When could hearten be used to replace embolden?

Although the words hearten and embolden have much in common, hearten implies the lifting of dispiritedness or despondency by an infusion of fresh courage or zeal.

a hospital patient heartened by good news

When is inspirit a more appropriate choice than embolden?

The words inspirit and embolden are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, inspirit, somewhat literary, implies instilling life, energy, courage, or vigor into something.

patriots inspirited the people to resist

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Time Traveler for embolden

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Embolden.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on embolden

Nglish: Translation of embolden for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embolden for Arabic Speakers


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