Definition of “encourage” - English Dictionary

“encourage” in British English

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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

  • The new teaching methods encourage children to think for themselves.
  • We encourage the victims to talk freely about their experiences.
  • Instead of simply punishing them, the system encourages offenders to modify their behaviour.
  • His tutor encouraged him to read widely in philosophy.
  • The city council is encouraging jobsharing to make it easier for parents of young children to work.

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

“encourage” in American English

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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.
encouragement
noun [ U ] us /ɪnˈkɜr·ɪdʒ·mənt, -ˈkʌr·ɪdʒ-/

My parents gave me encouragement and support.
encouraging
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)