When you help someone by offering positive words of support and approval, that's encouragement. It must have been the words of encouragement you gave in the airport lounge that helped your friend board the plane.

Within the word encouragement we see the word "courage," which means the ability to face danger and deal with it. To encourage, then, is to help develop that ability in someone, while the "ment" at the end makes that development into a noun, the act of giving courage or support to another. You needed a little encouragement to try horse riding again, after your injuries healed.

Definitions of encouragement

n the act of giving hope or support to someone

morale booster, morale building
anything that serves to increase morale
Type of:
aid, assist, assistance, help
the activity of contributing to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose

n the expression of approval and support

the expression of opposition and disapproval
show 8 types...
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abetment, abettal, instigation
the verbal act of urging on
cheering, shouting
encouragement in the form of cheers from spectators
advancement, furtherance, promotion
encouragement of the progress or growth or acceptance of something
fosterage, fostering
encouragement; aiding the development of something
goad, goading, prod, prodding, spur, spurring, urging
a verbalization that encourages you to attempt something
incitement, provocation
needed encouragement
vote of confidence
an expression of approval and encouragement
underhandedly or improperly inducing someone to do something improper or unlawful
Type of:
approval, commendation
a message expressing a favorable opinion

n the feeling of being encouraged

Type of:
the general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled

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