Definition of discourage in English:

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Pronunciation: /disˈkərij/


[with object]
1Cause (someone) to lose confidence or enthusiasm: I don’t want to discourage you, but I don’t think it’s such a good idea
More example sentences
  • Research also indicates that negative school experiences can discourage students from teaching careers.
  • The reality facing higher education right now is that the prospect of debt is discouraging many students from poorer homes from considering going to university at all.
  • But, along with these charges, the overall cost does discourage poor patients from undergoing advanced treatment.
dishearten, dispirit, demoralize, cast down, depress, disappoint;
put off, unnerve, daunt, intimidate, cow, crush
put off, daunted, intimidated, cowed, crushed
depressing, demoralizing, disheartening, dispiriting, disappointing, gloomy, off-putting;
1.1Prevent or seek to prevent (something) by showing disapproval or creating difficulties: the plan is designed to discourage the use of private cars
More example sentences
  • Lynne and her colleagues place a higher priority on preventive actions to discourage bad behaviour and crime.
  • He added that fares will be clearly posted on each vehicle in order to prevent confusion and discourage mischievous behavior of drivers.
  • Traditionally, the meat was rubbed with powdered ginger and pepper during hanging to discourage flies and prevent tainting.
prevent, stop, put a stop to, avert, fend off, stave off, ward off;
inhibit, hinder, check, curb, put a damper on, throw cold water on
1.2Persuade (someone) against an action: we want to discourage children from smoking
More example sentences
  • A combination of persuasion and stiff fines may become necessary to discourage people from littering public places.
  • A high would reflect a method of user removal that would be effective in scaring or otherwise discouraging new users from joining the network.
  • Backbreaking work, all that stooping but I had been warned, even discouraged from going.
deter from, dissuade from, disincline from, put off, talk out of;
advise against, urge against
archaic discountenance from



Example sentences
  • After four attempts to draft a formal policy, the discouragers appear to be winning.
  • He is big discourager and keeps mourning all the time.
  • There is more, much more, to this story, but I simply want to make a few observations about discouragers and encouragers.


Late Middle English: from Old French descouragier, from des- (expressing reversal) + corage 'courage'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dis·cour·age

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