To embolden someone is to inspire them. You might embolden your brother to try out for a play by enthusiastically praising his singing and dancing abilities.

Shy kids sometimes need a friend or a teacher who will embolden them to speak up for themselves, and a good grade in a difficult class will embolden a student to attempt more challenging courses. When you cheer up a friend or encourage a coworker, you embolden those people. To embolden is "to make bold," from the Old English root word beald, which means "brave, confident, or strong."

Definitions of embolden
  1. verb
    give encouragement to
    synonyms: buoy, cheer, hearten, recreate
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    dishearten, put off
    take away the enthusiasm of
    buck up, take heart
    gain courage
    type of:
    inspire with confidence; give hope or courage to
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