In the context of a riddle, I am writing a couple of verses that should rhyme. The first verse ends with "golden"; looking for rhyme words, I found the word "embolden", so I wrote "Those who seek wisdom should be embolden."

English isn't my mother tongue, and I don't know if that means what I think it means, namely that people in search for wisdom should be encouraged to do so.

I would also like to know if there's a difference between "Those who seek wisdom should be embolden" and "Those who seek wisdom should be emboldened"? Is one more common in the US and the other in the UK? Or are those words interchangeable?

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    Please note that "be embolden" is grammatically incorrect. "Be emboldened" is the correct form because "emboldened" functions as an adjective. It is like saying "Be fast" or "Be strong." The root word "embolden" is a verb, as stated in the answer by @Ceramicmrno0b below.
    – RobJarvis
    Jan 21, 2021 at 17:07
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    If the word *emboldened * comes after golden, it's called an augmented rhyme. The suffix does not harm the rhyme, but add a little bonus. In rhyme, it's fine. If emboldened came first, that's only a near rhyme. Jan 21, 2021 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


Embolden definition(copied from google and trimmed to just the useful bits)

give (someone) the courage or confidence to do something or to behave in a certain way

They are the same word, just different tenses. Emboldened is the past tense, which as currently written is what you would need to use. This word is (as far as I know) accepted in both the US and UK, although not used that often.

If you want to use embolden for more rhymy-ness, I'd recommend changing it to this or something similar;

Those who seek wisdom I will embolden

This changes allows the present tense to be used for more rhymy-ness without changing your riddle too much. Hope this helps.

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    I guess that "I shall embolden" would work too, making it more like an ancient spell. Jan 21, 2021 at 16:06

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