[ree-in-fawrs-muh nt, -fohrs-]
  1. the act of reinforcing.
  2. the state of being reinforced.
  3. something that reinforces or strengthens.
  4. Often reinforcements. an additional supply of personnel, ships, aircraft, etc., for a military force.
  5. a system of steel bars, strands, wires, or mesh for absorbing the tensile and shearing stresses in concrete work.
  6. Psychology.
    1. a procedure, as a reward or punishment, that alters a response to a stimulus.
    2. the act of reinforcing a response.

Origin of reinforcement

First recorded in 1600–10; reinforce + -ment
Related formsnon·re·in·force·ment, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for non-reinforcement



c.1600, "act of reinforcing," from reinforce + -ment. Meaning "an augmentation, that which reinforces" is from 1650s. Related: Reinforcements.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

non-reinforcement in Medicine


  1. The act or process of reinforcing.
  2. Something that reinforces.
  3. The occurrence or experimental introduction of an unconditioned stimulus along with a conditioned stimulus.
  4. The strengthening of a conditioned response by such means.
  5. An event, a circumstance, or a condition that increases the likelihood that a given response will recur in a situation like that in which the reinforcing condition originally occurred.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.