Share this entry

Share this page

discourage

Syllabification: dis·cour·age
Pronunciation: /disˈkərij
 
/

Definition of discourage in English:

verb

[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.
Synonyms
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.
Synonyms
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.
Synonyms
deter from, dissuade from, disincline from, put off, talk out of;
advise against, urge against
archaic discountenance from

Origin

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

Derivatives

discourager

1
noun
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.

Definition of discourage in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something