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[dih-skur-ij, -skuhr-] /dɪˈskɜr ɪdʒ, -ˈskʌr-/
verb (used with object), discouraged, discouraging.
to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit.
to dissuade (usually followed by from).
to obstruct by opposition or difficulty; hinder:
Low prices discourage industry.
to express or make clear disapproval of; frown upon:
to discourage the expression of enthusiasm.
verb (used without object), discouraged, discouraging.
to become discouraged:
a person who discourages easily.
Origin of discourage
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English discoragen < Middle French descorager, Old French descoragier. See dis-1, courage
Related forms
discourager, noun
discourageable, adjective
discouragingly, adverb
overdiscourage, verb (used with object), overdiscouraged, overdiscouraging.
prediscourage, verb (used with object), prediscouraged, prediscouraging.
undiscourageable, adjective
undiscouraged, adjective
undiscouraging, adjective
undiscouragingly, adverb
1. daunt, depress, deject, overawe, cow, abash. Discourage, dismay, intimidate mean to dishearten or frighten. To discourage is to dishearten by expressing disapproval or by suggesting that a contemplated action or course will probably fail: He was discouraged from going into business. To dismay is to dishearten completely: Her husband's philandering dismayed her. To intimidate is to frighten, as by threats of force, violence, or dire consequences: to intimidate a witness.
1. encourage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for discouraging
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • discouraging as was the outcome of this movement in Ajaccio, similar agitations elsewhere were more successful.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • Every day it was a different rule, which in itself was discouraging.

    Emmy Lou George Madden Martin
  • With this answer the messengers returned, and their report was discouraging to the hopes of the exiles.

  • This sight, instead of discouraging Frank, made him assume an air of bravado.

    The Silver Lining John Roussel
  • But such sums came at uncertain intervals, and her board bills came due with discouraging regularity.

    Heroines of Service Mary Rosetta Parkman
British Dictionary definitions for discouraging


verb (transitive)
to deprive of the will to persist in something
to inhibit; prevent: this solution discourages rust
to oppose by expressing disapproval
Derived Forms
discouragement, noun
discourager, noun
discouragingly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for discouraging



mid-15c., discoragen, from Middle French descourager, from Old French descoragier, from des- "away" (see dis-) + corage (see courage). Related: Discouraged; discouragement; discouraging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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