[ kuhn-dish-uh-ning ]
/ kənˈdɪʃ ə nɪŋ /
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See synonyms for: conditioning / conditionings on Thesaurus.com

noun Psychology.

Also called operant conditioning, instrumental conditioning. a process of changing behavior by rewarding or punishing a subject each time an action is performed until the subject associates the action with pleasure or distress.
Also called classical conditioning, Pavlovian conditioning, respondent conditioning. a process in which a stimulus that was previously neutral, as the sound of a bell, comes to evoke a particular response, as salivation, by being repeatedly paired with another stimulus that normally evokes the response, as the taste of food.



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Origin of conditioning

First recorded in 1915–20; condition + -ing1

OTHER WORDS FROM conditioning

self-con·di·tion·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for conditioning

British Dictionary definitions for conditioning

/ (kənˈdɪʃənɪŋ) /


psychol the learning process by which the behaviour of an organism becomes dependent on an event occurring in its environmentSee also classical conditioning, instrumental learning


(of a shampoo, cosmetic, etc) intended to improve the condition of somethinga conditioning rinse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for conditioning

[ kən-dĭshə-nĭng ]


A process of behavior modification by which a subject comes to associate a desired behavior with a previously unrelated stimulus.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for conditioning

[ kən-dĭshə-nĭng ]

See classical conditioning.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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