1. the act of encouraging.
  2. the state of being encouraged.
  3. something that encourages: Praise is the greatest encouragement.

1560s, from encourage + -ment, or from Middle French encoragement.

As a general rule, Providence seldom vouchsafes to mortals any more than just that degree of encouragement which suffices to keep them at a reasonably full exertion of their powers. [Hawthorne, “House of Seven Gables”]

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