Definition of reinforcement
1 : the action of strengthening or encouraging something : the state of being reinforced
2 : something that strengthens or encourages something: such asa : an addition of troops, supplies, etc., that augments the strength of an army or other military force —usually plural About 8 a.m. Soviet tanks and armored personnel carriers containing reinforcements approached the gorge from the right flank. — John Barronb : something designed to provide additional strength (as in a weak area) a bridge in need of steel reinforcementsc : a response to someone's behavior that is intended to make that person more likely to behave that way again positive/negative reinforcement
3 psychology : the action of causing a subject to learn to give or to increase the frequency of a desired response that in classical conditioning involves the repeated presentation of an unconditioned stimulus (such as the sight of food) paired with a conditioned stimulus (such as the sound of a bell) and that in operant conditioning involves the use of a reward following a correct response or a punishment following an incorrect response; also : the reward, punishment, or unconditioned stimulus used in reinforcement
Examples of reinforcement in a Sentence
“We're outnumbered! Call for reinforcements!”
We need to prevent enemy reinforcements from reaching the front line.
The bridge is in need of reinforcement.
You should encourage good behavior with positive reinforcement.
Recent Examples of reinforcement from the Web
That being said, the girls and their parents were getting specific fundamental reinforcement and were required be positive at all times.
To help fend off criticism, Moon is taking reinforcements from Korea’s most powerful chaebol, the conglomerates that dominate its economy.
There were some congressmen on phones screaming for reinforcements.
Maybe the best that could be hoped for is that the constant barrage of litigation might check Trump just a bit, averting the worst until 2018 or 2020, when reinforcements arrive.
Prime Minister Boshuslav Sobotka said on Monday the reinforcement should also help boost security at the country's nuclear plants and improve police capabilities in the fight against cybercrime.
Vargas, meanwhile, could be attractive for a club that needs a reinforcement near the back end of their starting rotation.
About 50 to 100 militants were putting up the strongest stand in buildings across a bridge from Marawi's city hall, where hundreds of reinforcement troops were deployed.
Though simple, this exercise builds self-confidence and the applause and enthusiasm from the crowd becomes the reinforcement.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reinforcement'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of reinforcement
REINFORCEMENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of reinforcement for English Language Learners
reinforcements : people and supplies that are sent to help or support an army, military force, etc.
: the act of strengthening or encouraging something
: a thing that strengthens or encourages something
REINFORCEMENT Defined for Kids
Definition of reinforcement for Students
1 : people or things (as supplies) sent to help or support
2 : the act of making something stronger or able to last longer The bridge is in need of reinforcement.
Medical Definition of reinforcement
: the action of causing a subject (as a student or an experimental animal) to learn to give or to increase the frequency of a desired response that in classical conditioning involves the repeated presentation of an unconditioned stimulus (as the sight of food) paired with a conditioned stimulus (as the sound of a bell) and that in operant conditioning involves the use of a reward following a correct response or a punishment following an incorrect response; also : the reward, punishment, or unconditioned stimulus used in reinforcement—compare recruitment 1
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