[ree-in-fawrs-muh nt, -fohrs-]
See more synonyms for reinforcement on
  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

Related Words for reinforcement

aid, buttress, column, pillar, coating, prop, brace, help

Examples from the Web for reinforcement

Contemporary Examples of reinforcement

Historical Examples of reinforcement

Word Origin and History for 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

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.