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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 encouragingly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Our only armor against such influences is firm principle," answered the old man, encouragingly.

    Father Brighthopes John Townsend Trowbridge
  • "We can do no better than help ourselves out of it," said Jane, encouragingly.

  • The senior class president jumped to his feet and called for a cheer, and the response was encouragingly hearty.

    Weatherby's Inning Ralph Henry Barbour
  • "That's very creditable, my little authorlings," said auntie, encouragingly.

    Cricket at the Seashore Elizabeth Westyn Timlow
  • Three ladies and one very highly connected young gentleman had come—an encouragingly full and enthusiastic meeting.

    Lady Baltimore Owen Wister
  • "I don't mind what it was, only I should like to know," I said encouragingly.

British Dictionary definitions for encouragingly


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 encouragingly



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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