Etymology
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encouragement (n.)

1560s, from encourage + -ment, or from French encoragement.

As a general rule, Providence seldom vouchsafes to mortals any more than just that degree of encouragement which suffices to keep them at a reasonably full exertion of their powers. [Hawthorne, "House of Seven Gables"]

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Definitions of encouragement

encouragement (n.)
the expression of approval and support;
encouragement (n.)
the act of giving hope or support to someone;
Synonyms: boost
encouragement (n.)
the feeling of being encouraged;
From wordnet.princeton.edu