Definition of encourage in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈkʌrɪdʒ/
Pronunciation: /ɛnˈkʌrɪdʒ/


[with object]
1Give support, confidence, or hope to (someone): we were encouraged by the success of this venture
More example sentences
  • The public hearing provided an opportunity and a faint ray of hope that encouraged women.
  • We are encouraged to hear that confidence, but can I pick you up on a word you have used, and I hope you do not mind me doing so.
  • We hope it will encourage people who would normally not consider travelling by train.
hearten, cheer, buoy up, uplift, inspire, motivate, egg on, spur on, stir, stir up, whip up, fire up, stimulate, animate, invigorate, vitalize, revitalize, embolden, fortify, rally, incite;
lift the spirits of, raise the morale of, stiffen the resolve of
informal buck up, pep up, give a shot in the arm to
North American informal light a fire under
promising, hopeful, auspicious, propitious, favourable, bright, rosy, cheerful, full of promise;
heartening, reassuring, stimulating, inspiring, uplifting, cheering, comforting, welcome, pleasing, gratifying
supportive, reassuring, affirmative, sympathetic, sensitive, understanding, helpful;
positive, responsive, enthusiastic, appreciative
1.1 [with object and infinitive] Persuade (someone) to do or continue to do something by giving support and advice: pupils are encouraged to be creative
More example sentences
  • We must also encourage more students and journalists to pursue broadcast opinion writing as a career.
  • The reader is actively encouraged to take back control over her own health.
  • The aim was not only to promote the sport but also encourage more visitors to attend these high profile events.
persuade, coax, urge, press, push, pressure, pressurize, exhort, spur, prod, goad, egg on, prompt, influence, sway
informal put the heat on, put the screws on, twist someone's arm
1.2Stimulate the development of (an activity, state, or belief): the intention is to encourage new writing talent
More example sentences
  • Hens enjoy scratching, preening and dustbathing and the deep straw covered floor encourages these social activities.
  • Instead, the child is introduced to a story that encourages positive beliefs about self and others.
  • The scoring system encourages activity - the more you play, the better you will score.
support, back, endorse, champion, advocate, recommend, promote, further, advance, forward, foster, strengthen, enrich;
help, assist, aid, abet, boost, fuel, favour



Pronunciation: /ɪnˈkʌrɪdʒə/
Pronunciation: /ɛnˈkʌrɪdʒə/
Example sentences
  • Steve was actually a huge encourager of my writing.
  • Mum was that kind of woman - a big supporter and great encourager of her three sons.
  • I will do what's best for the side and I'm a great encourager of individual talent, believe it or not.


Middle English (formerly also as incourage): from French encourager, from en- 'in' + corage 'courage'.

Words that rhyme with encourage

courage, demurrage

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: en|cour¦age

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