Synonym Chooser

How does the verb hearten differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of hearten are embolden, encourage, and inspirit. While all these words mean "to fill with courage or strength of purpose," hearten implies the lifting of dispiritedness or despondency by an infusion of fresh courage or zeal.

a hospital patient heartened by good news

When can embolden be used instead of hearten?

While in some cases nearly identical to hearten, 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 hearten?

Although the words encourage and hearten have much in common, 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 inspirit be used to replace hearten?

The words inspirit and hearten 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

Thesaurus Entries Near hearten

Cite this Entry

“Hearten.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/hearten. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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