What does encourage mean?

Definitions for encourage
ɛnˈkɜr ɪdʒ, -ˈkʌr-en·cour·age

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word encourage.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. promote, advance, boost, further, encourageverb

    contribute to the progress or growth of

    "I am promoting the use of computers in the classroom"

  2. encourageverb

    inspire with confidence; give hope or courage to

  3. encourageverb

    spur on

    "His financial success encouraged him to look for a wife"


  1. encourageverb

    To mentally support; to motivate, give courage, hope or spirit.

    I encouraged him during his race.

  2. encourageverb

    To spur on, strongly recommend.

    We encourage the use of bicycles in the town centre.

  3. encourageverb

    To foster, give help or patronage

    The royal family has always encouraged the arts in word and deed

  4. Etymology: encoragen, from encoragier, from encoragier from "courage". Displaced native belden (from bieldan), bealden (from bealdian), herten (from hiertan), elnian.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Encourageverb

    Etymology: encourager, French.

    They encourage themselves in an evil matter. Ps. lxiv. 5.

    I would neither encourage the rebels, nor discourage the protestants loyalty. Charles I .

    I doubt not but there are ways to be found, to assist our reason in this most useful part; and this the judicious Hooker encourages me to say. John Locke.


  1. encourage

    Courage International, also known as Courage Apostolate and Courage for short, is an approved apostolate of the Catholic Church that counsels "men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives in fellowship, truth and love". Based on a treatment model for drug and alcohol addictions used in programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Courage runs a peer support program aimed at helping gay people remain abstinent from same-sex sexual activity.The organization runs support groups led by a priest to encourage its members to abstain from acting on their homosexual desires and to live according to the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality. Courage also has a ministry geared towards the relatives and friends of gay people called Encourage.The apostolate was endorsed by the Pontifical Council for the Family in 1994 through the statement of Alfonso Cardinal López Trujillo.Courage has received criticism from LGBT advocacy groups, such as New Ways Ministry, which say that Courage's methods are "problematic and very dangerous to people's spiritual health". In 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center listed Courage International as one of the ten most prominent "ex-gay" anti-LGBT organizations.


  1. encourage

    To encourage is to give support, confidence, or hope to someone. It involves motivating or stimulating them to continue or improve in something they're doing, often through positive reinforcement, compliments, and expressions of confidence in their abilities. This can apply to various aspects of life such as work, personal growth, or difficult challenges.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Encourageverb

    to give courage to; to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope; to raise, or to increase, the confidence of; to animate; enhearten; to incite; to help forward; -- the opposite of discourage

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Encourage

    en-kur′āj, v.t. to put courage in: to inspire with spirit or hope: to incite: to patronise: to cherish.—ns. Encour′agement, act of encouraging: that which encourages; Encour′ager,—p.adj. Encour′aging, giving ground to hope for success.—adv. Encour′agingly. [O. Fr. encoragier (Fr. encourager)—en, to make, corage, courage.]

Editors Contribution

  1. encourage

    Give support, motivation, confidence and positivity to each other.

    Cheerleaders cheering a football game in the crowd

    Submitted by JP03 on February 15, 2015  

  2. encourage

    Give support, motivation, confidence, optimism and positivity to each other.

    We encourage each other to achieve knowing we are a united humanity working together with universal beings for the optimum health and shared prosperity of all animals, human beings and living organisms on planet earth.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 1, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'encourage' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2056

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'encourage' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2187

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'encourage' in Verbs Frequency: #200

How to pronounce encourage?

How to say encourage in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of encourage in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of encourage in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of encourage in a Sentence

  1. Warren Bennis:

    Leaders must encourage their organizations to dance to forms of music yet to be heard.

  2. Delaney Tarr:

    The strongest thing we have going for us at this time is that this is a youth’s movement – this is led by the youth and for the youth, and if we can encourage these people to take action, to be participating in our society and in our politics, that’s going to actually encourage our voters to actually turn out.

  3. Theodore Roosevelt:

    The great lawyer who employs his talent and his learning in the highly emunerative task of enabling a very wealthy client to override or circumvent the law is doing all that in him lies to encourage the growth in the country of a spirit of dumb anger against all laws and of disbelief in their efficacy.

  4. Publilius Syrus:

    Pardon one offense, and you encourage the commission of many.

  5. Barry Schwartz:

    Lower rates encourage people to invest, encourage businesses to make acquisitions, take on debt, expand their operations, the banks will benefit from more M&A, more stock listings, more bond and preferred share offerings, wealth management and ancillary services and loan demand.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for encourage

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • التشجيع, شجعArabic
  • поощрявам, насърчавам, окуражавамBulgarian
  • povzbuditCzech
  • opmuntre, anbefaleDanish
  • empfehlen, ermutigenGerman
  • instigi, vigligi, subteni, kuraĝigiEsperanto
  • animar, recomendar, alentarSpanish
  • julgustama, õhutamaEstonian
  • rohkaista, kannustaaFinnish
  • encouragerFrench
  • spreagIrish
  • המליץ, ראה בחיוב, עודדHebrew
  • प्रोत्साहित करनाHindi
  • biztat, támogat, bátorít, buzdít, felbátorítHungarian
  • mendorongIndonesian
  • incoraggiareItalian
  • 勇気付けるJapanese
  • 격려Korean
  • incito, adhortor, excito, hortor, corrōborō, animoLatin
  • whakatītinaMāori
  • patroneren, bemoedigen, aanmoedigen, bevorderen, steunenDutch
  • oppmuntre, anbefaleNorwegian
  • dopingować, popierać, wspieraćPolish
  • encorajarPortuguese
  • însufleți, încurajaRomanian
  • воодушеви́ть, обо́дрить, воодушевля́ть, поощри́ть, ободря́ть, поощря́ть, поощрятьRussian
  • uppmuntraSwedish
  • ஊக்குவிக்கTamil
  • ప్రోత్సాహముTelugu
  • cesaretlendirmek, teşvik etmekTurkish
  • khuyến khíchVietnamese
  • 鼓勵Chinese

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"encourage." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/encourage>.

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    any foodstuff made by combining different ingredients
    • A. scholastic
    • B. concoction
    • C. vigorish
    • D. evangelist

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