Meaning of “encourage” in the English Dictionary

"encourage" in English

See all translations

encourageverb [ T ]

uk /ɪnˈkʌr.ɪdʒ/ us /ɪnˈkɝː.ɪdʒ/

B1 to make someone more likely to do something, or to make something more likely to happen:

The council is encouraging the development of the property for both employment and recreation.

B1 to talk or behave in a way that gives someone confidence to do something:

They've always encouraged me in everything I've wanted to do.

More examples

(Definition of “encourage” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"encourage" in American English

See all translations

encourageverb [ T ]

us /ɪnˈkɜr·ɪdʒ, -ˈkʌr·ɪdʒ/

to help someone to feel confident and able to do something, or to give advice to someone to do something:

Our parents always encouraged us to ask questions.

If something encourages an activity, it supports it or makes it more likely:

The city needs to encourage job creation.
noun [ U ] us /ɪnˈkɜr·ɪdʒ·mənt, -ˈkʌr·ɪdʒ-/

My parents gave me encouragement and support.
adjective us /ɪnˈkɜr·ə·dʒɪŋ, -ˈkʌr·ə-/

Early results of the experiment were extremely encouraging.

(Definition of “encourage” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Help us add to the Cambridge Dictionary!

These examples are from external sources. Click on the icon to tell us if any are not OK.


We want to encourage women to play their part in the decision-making process; we want this programme, and the organisations, to support the fight against all forms of violence.
Lastly, it is indeed crucial to enhance, encourage and assist the entrepreneurial side of industry, always seeking economic effectiveness at the same time as social and human effectiveness.
We need to encourage that, but we must make sure that we stimulate the development of those fields and that people are properly rewarded.
I simply want to confirm that national programmes concerning honey provide funding for technical assistance to encourage young people to become beekeepers and improve their results.
One of the things that rightly concerns many of us is the extent to which this directive would encourage cross-border re-use.
Then, my group will emphasise what it considers to be positive advances: new parliamentary prerogatives, a willingness to encourage ordinary people to get involved, and certain elements of transparency.
I believe that strong environmental liability legislation will have a preventative effect with regard to environmental damage and will encourage the repair of the damage.
All these are factors which affect the rise and fall in immigration and the choice of crossing point and encourage illegal immigration.
We must continue to encourage the promotion of language-learning by all possible means, and this programme provides us with an ideal opportunity to do so.
Adding substances that have never been used before to encourage fish to grow fast and thus increase the yield may contribute to further contamination of the sea.