Definition of encourage in English:



  • 1 Give support, confidence, or hope to (someone)

    ‘we were encouraged by the success of this venture’
    ‘I feel much encouraged’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘While this is encouraging what is urgently needed is a mechanism that will translate words into concrete measures.’
    • ‘We hope it will encourage people who would normally not consider travelling by train.’
    • ‘"We are encouraged by our third quarter results, " he said.’
    • ‘Fernandez's comeback continues, and the team is encouraged by his progress.’
    • ‘I hope that you are encouraged that no one has considered the idea of looking on the web for your product.’
    • ‘The number of first time donors at this Clinic was very noticeable, which is encouraging for the future.’
    • ‘They were encouraged by his progress and the lack of any infection in his lacerations.’
    • ‘This story is part of an encouraging trend which sees residents taking charge of their neighbourhood facilities.’
    • ‘Turtle's managing director, Jeremy Turtle, has been greatly encouraged by the response from residents.’
    • ‘While the plans are encouraging for the future of the Hub, they are small in financial terms and scale.’
    • ‘She spent years promoting and encouraging him, while Valentino made one bad decision after another.’
    • ‘She was also praised for her commitment to promoting the game and encouraging new players.’
    • ‘We shall see what happens, but I am greatly encouraged by this response.’
    • ‘Since it was first launched in Namibia in 1991, there have been encouraging developments.’
    • ‘In fact, he is very encouraged by the growing success of local theatre.’
    • ‘We're very encouraged by progress that's being made in many Asian countries.’
    • ‘The public hearing provided an opportunity and a faint ray of hope that encouraged women.’
    • ‘I hope this goes some way to calming the situation down, and I hope the support you've had encourages you!’
    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
    promising, hopeful, auspicious, propitious, favourable, bright, rosy, cheerful, full of promise
    supportive, reassuring, affirmative, sympathetic, sensitive, understanding, helpful
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    1. 1.1Give support and advice to (someone) so that they will do or continue to do something.
      [with object and infinitive] ‘pupils are encouraged to be creative’
      • ‘The reader is actively encouraged to take back control over her own health.’
      • ‘All residents are asked to make an effort to support this initiative and children are also encouraged to participate.’
      • ‘"Teachers have always encouraged students to talk and think for themselves.’
      • ‘We must also encourage more students and journalists to pursue broadcast opinion writing as a career.’
      • ‘Viewers were encouraged to participate at home and up to 10,000 people called a special helpline during the show.’
      • ‘Higher education carries much prestige, and parents strongly encourage children to earn their diplomas.’
      • ‘People who have concerns are encouraged to contact their local Medical Officer of Health.’
      • ‘Interested drivers are encouraged to contact teams to reserve time in the cars in advance.’
      • ‘Scouts are encouraged to contact their group leaders if they would like to participate.’
      • ‘Researchers from all fields of the behavioral and social sciences are encouraged to apply.’
      • ‘Residents are encouraged to join together in a bid to reduce crime in their community this winter.’
      • ‘I encourage anyone interested in ancient history to consider Turkey for their next travel destination.’
      • ‘I would encourage anyone else interested in this debate to try and get their hands on a copy as well.’
      • ‘Young boys are always encouraged to participate in sports.’
      • ‘Students and teachers from all disciplines who can speak basic English are encouraged to apply.’
      • ‘The next meeting is on Thursday, April 7 at 9.30 pm and all local residents are encouraged to attend.’
      • ‘Lets hope this great result encourages youngsters across Scotland to take up the sport themselves.’
      • ‘The aim was not only to promote the sport but also encourage more visitors to attend these high profile events.’
      • ‘That's not our job, our job is not to encourage gambling.’
      • ‘Readers are encouraged to submit articles to share their challenges and successes with colleagues.’
      • ‘Despite the dangers, some parents actively encourage their children to take part in the street clashes.’
      • ‘All are welcome and new members are particularly encouraged to attend.’
      persuade, coax, urge, press, push, pressure, pressurize, exhort, spur, prod, goad, egg on, prompt, influence, sway
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    2. 1.2Help or stimulate (an activity, state, or view) to develop.
      ‘the intention is to encourage new writing talent’
      • ‘His actions would have been completely legal - even encouraged by the Dutch government.’
      • ‘Such autonomy encourages what to him is a desirable element of calculated risk-taking.’
      • ‘All these factors encourage smoking and do not help efforts to reduce it.’
      • ‘The singers' repertoire ranges from sixties pop songs to madrigals and audience participation is always encouraged.’
      • ‘Positive role models for underrepresented cultures may encourage more participation in leadership roles among underrepresented students.’
      • ‘Hens enjoy scratching, preening and dustbathing and the deep straw covered floor encourages these social activities.’
      • ‘She continually encourages growth, development and autonomy of all members of her team.’
      • ‘This is generally accepted as beneficial in that it encourages innovation and competition.’
      • ‘The poverty campaign is all about encouraging development in Africa.’
      • ‘They have to balance between protecting their profits and encouraging economic growth.’
      • ‘It would also encourage the development of new tourism activities in the region.’
      • ‘Banks encourage what is for them a profitable orgy of borrowing, and luxury imports surge.’
      • ‘At present society encourages smoking while socialising - - when it discourages it people will adjust.’
      • ‘This means that rising prices encourage competition, but falling prices do not.’
      • ‘The county council trumpets that it wants to encourage cycling.’
      • ‘The substance releases the minerals into the teeth, encouraging the growth of new enamel.’
      • ‘Its widespread adoption encouraged the development of other methods of physical diagnosis.’
      • ‘Vaccination against all childhood diseases has been strongly encouraged by the government.’
      • ‘The idea of reducing the refuse collections is a good one, and should help encourage recycling.’
      • ‘The scoring system encourages activity - the more you play, the better you will score.’
      • ‘She added as an afterthought that the government supports campaigns to encourage cycling and walking as healthy forms of transport.’
      • ‘Instead, the child is introduced to a story that encourages positive beliefs about self and others.’
      support, back, endorse, champion, advocate, recommend, promote, further, advance, forward, foster, strengthen, enrich
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Middle English (formerly also as incourage): from French encourager, from en- in + corage courage.