- 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.
- to become discouraged: a person who discourages easily.
Origin of discourage
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordsdisappointing, dreary, depressing, gloomy, dismal, dispiriting, bleak, disheartening, black, deterring, dissuading, daunting, hindering, disadvantageous, inopportune, oppressive, unfavorable, unpropitious, depressive
Examples from the Web for discouraging
What followed was a very strange and discouraging series of events.Hollywood Surrenders to North Korea
December 17, 2014
It seemed to me a miracle that I never heard a discouraging word from my editor, Susan Murcko.The Strange and Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis
Richard Ben Cramer
January 11, 2014
Doing so perpetuates the stigma of mental disorder, discouraging persons with mental disorders from seeking care.Massacres and Madness
December 14, 2013
In politics every candidate wants to build a sense of inevitability, inspiring his admirers and discouraging his detractors.Barack Obama Beating Mitt Romney in Confidence Game, But Will Likely Lose Election
August 14, 2012
So it is discouraging that conservatives may not even want to take the first step down that path.A New Theory of Democracy
February 8, 2012
Low-lying alligator, evading the eyesight and discouraging hope!The Uncommercial Traveller
Burnside's repulse at Fredericksburg was followed by a discouraging retreat.The Nation in a Nutshell
George Makepeace Towle
But it is so discouraging a thing to have my monitress so very good!Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)
Bitter taunts for the past, and discouraging views of the future?Poems
William D. Howells
And yet, when we wrote to our friends who were watching, their answer was most discouraging.Lotus Buds
- to deprive of the will to persist in something
- to inhibit; preventthis solution discourages rust
- to oppose by expressing disapproval
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
Word Origin and History for discouraging
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper