Definition of reinforce in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌrēinˈfôrs/


[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



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

Syllabification: re·in·force

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