What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[ree-in-fawrs, -fohrs] /ˌri ɪnˈfɔrs, -ˈfoʊrs/
verb (used with object), reinforced, reinforcing.
to strengthen with some added piece, support, or material:
to reinforce a wall.
to strengthen (a military force) with additional personnel, ships, or aircraft:
to reinforce a garrison.
to strengthen; make more forcible or effective:
to reinforce efforts.
to augment; increase:
to reinforce a supply.
Psychology. to strengthen the probability of (a response to a given stimulus) by giving or withholding a reward.
something that reinforces.
a metal band on the rear part of the bore of a gun, where the explosion occurs.
Also, reenforce, re-enforce.
Origin of reinforce
1590-1600; re- + inforce, alteration of enforce
Related forms
reinforcer, noun
self-reinforcing, adjective
unreinforced, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for reinforce
  • Violent resistance tends to reinforce that loyalty, while civil resistance undermines it.
  • Design and deliver training to clients to reinforce best practices and legal compliance.
  • They argue that isolated reforms do not work because of the way labour-market rigidities reinforce one another.
  • Thousands of volunteers and aid workers mobilized to reinforce levees and patrol for leaks in below-freezing temperatures.
  • New research finds that stem cells repair and reinforce brain cells in mice.
  • But thanks, it does reinforce how beautiful and magnificent our country is.
  • Shingled walls and crisp white trim reinforce the bungalow look.
  • Car makers use more metal to reinforce body structures.
  • Once the vibe is bad, it tends to reinforce itself as all the other students are made uncomfortable by the tense atmosphere.
  • Hapless efforts to rescue the floundering financial and property sectors only reinforce that feeling.
British Dictionary definitions for reinforce


verb (transitive)
to give added strength or support to
to give added emphasis to; stress, support, or increase: his rudeness reinforced my determination
to give added support to (a military force) by providing more men, supplies, etc
(psychol) to reward an action or response of (a human or animal) so that it becomes more likely to occur again
Derived Forms
reinforcement, noun
Word Origin
C17: from obsolete renforce, from French renforcer; see re- + inforceenforce
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for reinforce

c.1600, originally in military sense, from re- "again" + enforce (cf. re-enforce). Related: Reinforced; reinforcing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
reinforce in Medicine

reinforce re·in·force (rē'ĭn-fôrs')
v. re·in·forced, re·in·forc·ing, re·in·forc·es

  1. To give more force or effectiveness to something; strengthen.

  2. To reward an individual, especially an experimental subject, with a reinforcer subsequent to a desired response or performance.

  3. To stimulate a response by means of a reinforcer.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for reinforce

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for reinforce

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with reinforce