View synonyms for discourage


[ dih-skur-ij, -skuhr- ]

verb (used with object)

, dis·cour·aged, dis·cour·ag·ing.
  1. to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit.

    Synonyms: intimidate, cow, overawe, disparage, abash, deject, depress, daunt

    Antonyms: encourage

  2. to dissuade (usually followed by from ).
  3. to obstruct by opposition or difficulty; hinder:

    Low prices discourage industry.

  4. to express or make clear disapproval of; frown upon:

    to discourage the expression of enthusiasm.

verb (used without object)

, dis·cour·aged, dis·cour·ag·ing.
  1. to become discouraged:

    a person who discourages easily.


/ dɪsˈkʌrɪdʒ /


  1. to deprive of the will to persist in something
  2. to inhibit; prevent

    this solution discourages rust

  3. to oppose by expressing disapproval

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Derived Forms

  • disˈcourager, noun
  • disˈcouragingly, adverb
  • disˈcouragement, noun

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Other Words From

  • dis·cour·ag·er noun
  • dis·cour·age·a·ble adjective
  • dis·cour·ag·ing·ly adverb
  • o·ver·dis·cour·age verb (used with object) overdiscouraged overdiscouraging
  • pre·dis·cour·age verb (used with object) prediscouraged prediscouraging
  • un·dis·cour·age·a·ble adjective
  • un·dis·cour·ag·ing adjective
  • un·dis·cour·ag·ing·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of discourage1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English discoragen, from Middle French descorager, Old French descoragier; dis- 1, courage

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Synonym Study

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.

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Example Sentences

Ward believes that allowing offensive bird names to persist could discourage a new generation of nature enthusiasts from getting involved.

Shortly after, he issued a statement discouraging similar harassment and promising to do better.

If this does not discourage the behavior, then it may indeed be time to back off the friendship, while remaining on polite professional terms.

Other experts expressed concern that double masking could discourage mask-wearing.

By using an odor eliminator to get rid of the smell, you discourage your pet from returning to the scene of the crime.

The fences are themselves covered in black sniper netting, to discourage assassins.

Some pro-life groups worry that they discourage women from staying pregnant altogether.

The British Museum claims that “cultural diplomacy” can somehow discourage human rights violators.

The police themselves do little to dispel or discourage this lionized portrayal.

Unz also notes that a higher minimum wage would discourage illegal immigration and boost consumer spending.

But the quiet Tagals seem to love danger, and no one tried to discourage the hunter.

We decided to discourage any such attempts by opening the affair ourselves.

Failures would not discourage the worker, for every effort would be considered an experiment until success was attained.

There is, then, good reason why the medical profession should discourage too close an investigation into truth.

And, therefore, I would not discourage anyone in expending whatever thought and labour might be in him upon any literary work.


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discount storediscouraged