Middle English encoragen, from Anglo-French encorager, from en- + curage courage
- Date: 15th century
- 1 a : to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope : hearten <she was encouraged to continue by her early success>
- b : to attempt to persuade : urge <they encouraged him to go back to school>
- 2 : to spur on : stimulate <warm weather encourages plant growth>
- 3 : to give help or patronage to : foster <government grants designed to encourage conservation>
— en·cour·ag·er noun
encourage, inspirit, hearten, embolden mean to fill with courage or strength of purpose. encourage suggests the raising of one's confidence especially by an external agency <the teacher's praise encouraged the students to greater efforts>. inspirit, somewhat literary, implies instilling life, energy, courage, or vigor into something <patriots inspirited the people to resist>. hearten implies the lifting of dispiritedness or despondency by an infusion of fresh courage or zeal <a hospital patient heartened by good news>. embolden implies the giving of courage sufficient to overcome timidity or reluctance <emboldened by her first success, she tried an even more difficult climb>.