Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


 (dĭ-skûr′ĭj, -skŭr′-)
tr.v. dis·cour·aged, dis·cour·ag·ing, dis·cour·ag·es
1. To deprive of confidence, hope, or spirit: Making so little progress after so much effort discouraged us.
2. To dissuade or deter (someone) from doing something: My adviser discouraged me from applying to big universities.
3. To try to prevent by expressing disapproval or raising objections: The agency discouraged all travel to the areas hardest hit by the disease.

[Middle English discoragen, from Old French descoragier : des-, dis- + corage, courage; see courage.]

dis·cour′age·a·ble adj.
dis·cour′ag·er n.
dis·cour′ag·ing·ly adv.
Synonyms: discourage, dishearten, dismay, dispirit
These verbs mean to make less hopeful or enthusiastic: researchers who were discouraged by the problem's magnitude; apathy that disheartened the instructor; did not let the technical difficulties dismay them; a failure that dispirited the team.
Antonym: encourage
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"Dig up, you venerable discourager of rising young talent!" Martin exhorted.
You can leave the straw over flower buds and between the plants as a weed discourager and place for the fruit to rest.
a search or seizure suppressed as evidence, is needed as a discourager
Clearly, the success or failure of others, as well as their expectations, can become a key motivator or discourager to return-to-work behavior.