If a person gives you advice, hope and confidence, he or she "encourages" you. You feel better about your abilities and, perhaps, this encouragement helps your performance. It always feels good to hear someone say that you are doing a good job!
These sentences show you how "encourage" is used as a verb:
A coach encourages his players to do their best.
To form a noun, change the word "encourage" to "encouragement."
The adjective form is "encouraging."
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(First published on November 26, 2011; updated on October 18, 2014.)