reinforcement

noun
re·​in·​force·​ment | \ ˌrē-ən-ˈfȯrs-mənt How to pronounce reinforcement (audio) \

Definition of reinforcement

1 : the action of strengthening or encouraging something : the state of being reinforced
2 : something that strengthens or encourages something: such as
a : an addition of troops, supplies, etc., that augments the strength of an army or other military force usually pluralAbout 8 a.m. Soviet tanks and armored personnel carriers containing reinforcements approached the gorge from the right flank.— John Barron
b : something designed to provide additional strength (as in a weak area) a bridge in need of steel reinforcements
c : 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Health professionals are just as susceptible to the virus as the rest of us and reinforcements are almost nonexistent in most places. Time, "Why We Are So Ill-Prepared for A Possible Pandemic Like Coronavirus," 5 Feb. 2020 Both teams are on the second half of a back-to-back which typically puts a lean on the Under, but Saturday’s number is too low as the Sixers are expected to get a key reinforcement with C Al Horford returning from his rest night. Marcus Mosher, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Indiana Pacers at Philadelphia 76ers odds, picks and best bets," 30 Nov. 2019 The Rudy Stewart Training & Behavior Center opened this summer and gives positive reinforcement training to dogs who need extra time and effort to settle in to new homes. Candace Jordan, chicagotribune.com, "Houndstooth Ball helps rescue animals One Tail at a Time," 27 Nov. 2019 Baseball America) with some welcomed pitching reinforcements. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "With top-10 national buzz, ASU baseball seeks first College World Series berth since 2010," 24 Jan. 2020 Last year’s team went 8-9-4 and reached the Division 2 South tournament, but what already was going to be a senior-laden team this year received some key reinforcements. Jim Clark, BostonGlobe.com, "With more players and a different league, Dedham boys’ hockey rises to new level," 23 Jan. 2020 The trade won’t be finalized until Tuesday, due to restrictions in Gabriel’s contract, meaning that the Blazers will have to wait until later this week for their reinforcements from Sacramento. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors: Live updates, TV channel, how to watch live stream online," 20 Jan. 2020 Falcons — Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama: Though Atlanta's most pressing issues might be along the defensive line, this unit could use reinforcements at nearly every level. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "NFL mock draft 2020: Where do LSU, Clemson star players land in first round?," 16 Jan. 2020 The bridge, meanwhile, gained reinforcement from a guard rail while a long-term fix is planned for a concrete wall. Indystar Staff, Indianapolis Star, "Lanes reopening after semi crash ties up I-65 and I-70 at north split," 11 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of reinforcement

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for reinforcement

Time Traveler

The first known use of reinforcement was in 1602

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Statistics for reinforcement

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reinforcement.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reinforcements. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for reinforcement

reinforcement

noun
How to pronounce reinforcement (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of reinforcement

: 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

noun
re·​in·​force·​ment | \ ˌrē-ən-ˈfȯr-smənt How to pronounce reinforcement (audio) \

Kids Definition of reinforcement

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.

reinforcement

noun
re·​in·​force·​ment | \ ˌrē-ən-ˈfōr-smənt, -ˈfȯr- How to pronounce reinforcement (audio) \

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 sense 1

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