If your friend is thinking about quitting her job and moving to the Peruvian Andes to raise llamas, you might discourage her by pointing out that she’s allergic to llamas and also afraid of heights.

When you discourage someone, you try to talk them out of doing something, by pointing out reasons why their planned action would be unwise. The verb discourage has roots in the French word descouragier, which comes from des-, meaning “away,” and corage, or “courage.” So when you discourage someone, you can think of it as taking his courage — or enthusiasm — away.

Definitions of discourage

v try to prevent; show opposition to

“We should discourage this practice among our youth”
Type of:
disapprove, reject
deem wrong or inappropriate

v deprive of courage or hope; take away hope from; cause to feel discouraged

inspire with confidence; give hope or courage to
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cast down, deject, demoralise, demoralize, depress, dismay, dispirit, get down
lower someone's spirits; make downhearted
dishearten, put off
take away the enthusiasm of
intimidate, restrain
to compel or deter by or as if by threats
pour cold water on, throw cold water on
be discouraging or negative about
dash, daunt, frighten away, frighten off, pall, scare, scare away, scare off
cause to lose courage
depress or discourage

v admonish or counsel in terms of someone's behavior

admonish, monish, warn
notify of danger, potential harm, or risk
Type of:
advise, counsel, rede
give advice to