Definition of reinforce in English:

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Pronunciation: /riːɪnˈfɔːs/


[with object]
1Strengthen or support (an object or substance), especially with additional material: the helmet has been reinforced with a double layer of cork
More example sentences
  • To prevent wobbling, anchor stick securely in foam-filled pot and reinforce stick in foam with glue.
  • Rae stood and walked to the door, putting a hand on one of the cool, black iron strips reinforcing the thick wood.
  • The house or building is reinforced with timbers supporting the floors inside.
strengthen, fortify, bolster up, shore up, buttress, prop up, underpin, brace, stiffen, toughen, support, hold up
archaic underprop
1.1Strengthen (an existing feeling, idea, or habit): the next few months reinforced my opinion of Vince as a man of his word
More example sentences
  • When managers refuse or fail to recognize the problem and further blame the victim, it reinforces feelings of guilt.
  • She said the educational system reinforces the idea that there is only one right answer, stifling creativity.
  • Their findings reinforce the idea that communication failure is an important source of medical error.
strengthen, fortify, bolster up, shore up, buttress, prop up, underpin, support;
cement, uphold, defend, maintain, back (up), buoy up;
boost, give a boost to, aid, assist, help, promote, encourage, deepen, broaden, enrich, enhance, intensify, improve;
underline, heighten, emphasize, stress
1.2Strengthen (a military force) with additional personnel or equipment: paratroopers were sent to reinforce the troops already in the area
More example sentences
  • US defence secretary said the military would be reinforcing its special forces in the country.
  • A fierce fight then ensued while multitudes of tanks and helicopters came to reinforce their forces fighting against us.
  • They are expected to help secure supply lines and reinforce coalition forces approaching the capital of five million people.
augment, increase, add to, supplement, boost, swell, build up, top up



Example sentences
  • For an intelligent and sensitive child, merely withholding praise and approval can be powerful negative reinforcers that are much more effective than angry words and harsh language.
  • Hence, the therapist will often help the caregivers develop increased family structure, operationalize desired youth behavior, and identify natural reinforcers to be linked with desired behavior.
  • Treats are often used as reinforcers, but praise, such as ‘good dog’ or a pat on the head, can also be effective rewards.


Late Middle English: from French renforcer, influenced by inforce, an obsolete spelling of enforce; the sense of providing military support is probably from Italian rinforzare.

Words that rhyme with reinforce

coarse, corse, course, divorce, endorse (US indorse), enforce, force, gorse, hoarse, horse, morse, Norse, perforce, sauce, source, torse

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re|inforce

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