Etymology
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encourage (v.)

early 15c., from Old French encoragier "make strong, hearten," from en- "make, put in" (see en- (1)) + corage "courage, heart" (see courage). Related: Encouraged; encouraging; encouragingly.

updated on August 19, 2014

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Definitions of encourage from WordNet

encourage (v.)
contribute to the progress or growth of;
Synonyms: promote / advance / boost / further
encourage (v.)
inspire with confidence; give hope or courage to;
encourage (v.)
spur on;
His financial success encouraged him to look for a wife
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.