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[en-kur-ij, -kuhr-] /ɛnˈkɜr ɪdʒ, -ˈkʌr-/
verb (used with object), encouraged, encouraging.
to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence:
His coach encouraged him throughout the marathon race to keep on running.
to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.:
One of the chief duties of a teacher is to encourage students.
to promote, advance, or foster:
Poverty often encourages crime.
Origin of encourage
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English encoragen < Anglo-French, Middle French encorag(i)er. See en-1, courage
Related forms
encourager, noun
encouragingly, adverb
overencourage, verb (used with object), overencouraged, overencouraging.
preencourage, verb (used with object), preencouraged, preencouraging.
reencourage, verb (used with object), reencouraged, reencouraging.
unencouraged, adjective
unencouraging, adjective
well-encouraged, adjective
1. embolden, hearten, reassure. 2. urge; support, aid, help.
1. discourage, dishearten. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for encouraged
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Regimental annuals of a humorous kind existed but were not encouraged.

    G. H. Q. Frank Fox
  • encouraged by the shouts of the multitude, who were crying to Cleon, "Why don't you go and do it?"

  • They interfered with no one, and they encouraged no one to interfere with them.

  • While that hope is encouraged by so many worthy friends, I must persevere.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Haphazard and careless combinations are not to be encouraged in the formal flower-beds.

    Beautiful Bulbous Plants John Weathers
British Dictionary definitions for encouraged


verb (transitive)
to inspire (someone) with the courage or confidence (to do something)
to stimulate (something or someone to do something) by approval or help; support
Derived Forms
encouragement, noun
encourager, noun
encouraging, adjective
encouragingly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for encouraged



early 15c., from Old French encoragier "make strong, hearten," from en- "make, put in" (see en- (1)) + corage (see courage). Related: Encouraged; encouraging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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