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
  1. verb
    try to prevent; show opposition to
    “We should discourage this practice among our youth”
    synonyms: deter
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    type of:
    disapprove, reject
    deem wrong or inappropriate
  2. verb
    deprive of courage or hope; take away hope from; cause to feel discouraged
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    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
  3. verb
    admonish or counsel in terms of someone's behavior
    synonyms: admonish, monish, warn
    notify of danger, potential harm, or risk
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    type of:
    advise, counsel, rede
    give advice to
Word Family

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