exhort ig-ˈzȯrt verb
1. spur on or encourage especially by cheers and shouts
2. force or impel in an indicated direction
The word exhort has appeared in 121 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on April 13 in the essay “$2 and Some Pancakes Went Far at the 1969 Boston Marathon” by George A. Hirsch:
Boston has four infamous hills between 16 and 21 miles, just where you don’t need them. The last is the dreaded Heartbreak Hill. I trudged up the first three, fearful about Heartbreak just ahead.
Then I was on it, leaning steeply into the slope. Near the top, I heard a police officer on a bullhorn exhorting the runners. Suddenly, he was speaking directly to me: “No. 622, at the crest of the hill, you have five miles to go, and it’s all downhill.”
I’ll never forget his next words: “Your achievement is superb and you have my fullest admiration.”
I knew then that I would finish the Boston Marathon. And tears welled up in my eyes.