reinforce

verb
re·​in·​force | \ ˌrē-ən-ˈfȯrs How to pronounce reinforce (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of reinforce

transitive verb

1 : to strengthen by additional assistance, material, or support : make stronger or more pronounced reinforce levees reinforce the elbows of a jacket reinforce ideas
2 : to strengthen or increase by fresh additions reinforce our troops were reinforcing their pitching staff
3 : to stimulate (a subject, such as an experimental animal) by reinforcement (see reinforcement sense 3) also : to encourage (a response) by reinforcement

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Other Words from reinforce

reinforceable \ ˌrē-​ən-​ˈfȯr-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce reinforceable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of reinforce in a Sentence

The captain sent out another squad to reinforce the troops. Our camp is reinforced with supplies flown in by helicopter. The levees will need to be reinforced. The bad weather forecast only reinforces our decision to leave early tomorrow. Some critics say that the movie reinforces negative stereotypes about the military. We do our best to reinforce good conduct in the classroom.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Goessling’s history of actively aiding systems of racist oppression reinforces her complete disregard for the most women most vulnerable to violence in America. Teen Vogue, "Shannon Goessling, Trump’s Pick to Lead the Office on Violence Against Women, Has a Troubling Record," 18 Mar. 2019 Short for reinforcing bar, rebar is the steel used in the formation of concrete to give it strength—and is now a signature in Troy’s one-of-a-kind home furnishings. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "A Bold and Sculptural New Furniture Collection Inspired by the Basics," 26 Feb. 2019 But that only reinforces why investors can’t just coast on auto-pilot. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "When Investing on Auto-Pilot Isn’t Enough," 15 Feb. 2019 Her stardom may reinforce Hollywood’s status quo: white, blond, gorgeous. Vanessa Chow, Glamour, "Amber Heard Is Nobody’s Victim," 27 Nov. 2018 The case was one of two victories for criminal defendants Wednesday, both of which saw Chief Justice John Roberts join the court’s liberal wing to reinforce constitutional limits on the state. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Blocks Execution of Man With Dementia, Orders Mental Assessment," 27 Feb. 2019 The Spurs coach quickly rose to call a timeout 16 seconds into the game to forcefully reinforce that communication is critical to defense. Raul Dominguez, The Seattle Times, "Aldridge leads Spurs past Wizards 132-119," 27 Jan. 2019 The question is whether to reinforce and enhance the current grid architecture or to conceive and build something new. David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt.," 30 Nov. 2018 In last year's competition, teams armed their drones with entangling devices and dart guns or reinforced them for ramming. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What Are Airports Going to Do About Drones?," 9 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reinforce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of reinforce

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for reinforce

re- + inforce, alteration of enforce

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Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reinforce

The first known use of reinforce was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for reinforce

reinforce

verb

English Language Learners Definition of reinforce

: to strengthen (a group of people) with new supplies or more people
: to strengthen (something, such as clothing or a building) by adding more material for support
: to encourage or give support to (an idea, behavior, feeling, etc.)

reinforce

verb
re·​in·​force | \ ˌrē-ən-ˈfȯrs\
reinforced; reinforcing

Kids Definition of reinforce

1 : to strengthen with new supplies or more people Another squad reinforced the troops.
2 : to strengthen by adding more material for support The wall needs to be reinforced.

reinforce

transitive verb
re·​in·​force | \ ˌrē-ən-ˈfō(ə)rs, -ˈfȯ(ə)rs How to pronounce reinforce (audio) \
reinforced; reinforcing

Medical Definition of reinforce

1 : to strengthen by additional material or support : make stronger reinforced with vitamins
2 : to stimulate (as an experimental animal or a student) by reinforcement also : to encourage (a response) by reinforcement

Other Words from reinforce

reinforceable \ -​ə-​bəl How to pronounce reinforceable (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on reinforce

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