Pronunciation: (en-kûr'ij, -kur'-), [key]
—v.t., -aged, -ag•ing.
1. to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence: His coach encouraged him throughout the marathon race to keep on running.
2. to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.: One of the chief duties of a teacher is to encourage students.
3. to promote, advance, or foster: Poverty often encourages crime.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.