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[em-bohl-duh n]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make bold or bolder; hearten; encourage.
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Also imbolden.

Origin of embolden

First recorded in 1495–1505; em-1 + bold + -en1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

inspire, energize, invigorate, spur, reassure, sway, buoy, boost, goad, refresh, cheer, exhilarate, revitalize, inspirit, push, rally, stir, enhearten

Examples from the Web for emboldened

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It is only that conviction which has emboldened me to state my views publicly.

    War Taxation

    Otto H. Kahn

  • He paused, and a very slight nod from Kate emboldened him to proceed.

  • Emboldened by necessity, Hugh left his card, with the words on it: "Come to me; I need you."

    David Elginbrod

    George MacDonald

  • Emboldened by the sight of the sheriff, Mr. Doolittle again had recourse to his lungs.

    The Pioneers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The winter had been a hard one, game was scarce and the animal was emboldened by hunger.

British Dictionary definitions for emboldened


  1. (tr) to encourage; make bold
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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 emboldened



1570s, from en- (1) + bold + -en (1). Related: Emboldened.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper