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discourage Line breaks: dis|cour¦age
Pronunciation: /dɪsˈkʌrɪdʒ/

Definition of discourage in English:


[with object]
1Cause (someone) to lose confidence or enthusiasm: tedious regulations could discourage investors
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, make despondent, make downhearted, cast down, depress, disappoint, dampen someone's hopes, dash someone's hopes, cause to lose heart;
put off, unnerve, daunt, intimidate, cow, unman, crush
archaic deject
disheartened, dispirited, demoralized, deflated, disappointed, let down, disconsolate, despondent, fed up, dejected, cast down, downcast, depressed, crestfallen, dismayed, low-spirited, gloomy, glum, pessimistic, unenthusiastic, having lost heart, lacking in enthusiasm, lacking in confidence, unconfident;
informal down in the mouth, down in the dumps, unenthused, with cold feet
literary heartsick, heartsore
archaic chap-fallen
unfavourable, unpromising, not hopeful, not encouraging, unpropitious, inauspicious
archaic dejecting
1.1Prevent or try 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.
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, dissuade, disincline, turn aside;
put off, talk out of, scare off, warn off, advise against, urge against
rare dehort


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

Definition of discourage in:
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