Definition of reinforce in English:


Syllabification: re·in·force
Pronunciation: /ˌrē-inˈfôrs


[with object]
  • 1Strengthen or support, especially with additional personnel or material: 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, top up
  • 1.1Strengthen (an existing feeling, idea, or habit): various actions of the leaders so reinforced fears and suspicions that war became unavoidable
    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, support; cement, boost, promote, encourage, deepen, enrich, enhance, intensify, improve



More 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.

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a small amount; a little