self-reinforcing

adjective

self-re·​in·​forc·​ing
ˌself-ˌrē-ən-ˈfȯr-siŋ
 How to pronounce self-reinforcing (audio)
: tending or serving to strengthen itself : reinforcing itself
According to this thinking, a self-reinforcing feedback loop—bigger brains, better tools, more food—drove forward the process of human evolution.Michael Rothschild
Just as many negative behaviors are self-reinforcing, we often view related positive behaviors as more trouble than they're worth.Colleen Dunn Bates

Examples of self-reinforcing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But within this self-reinforcing climate, there is simply now an easier path to escalatory conduct. Dmitry Adamsky, Foreign Affairs, 19 May 2023 That increase in demand causes the price to increase, which causes even more interest in a self-reinforcing cycle. Andrew R. Chow, TIME, 17 Apr. 2024 The group wants to discourage this self-reinforcing cycle of electing more and more extreme ends of the political spectrum. Kayla Dwyer, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Apr. 2024 Demographers have previously warned that once fertility rates fall beneath a certain threshold, lifting them becomes extremely difficult because of self-reinforcing economic and social mechanisms. Chad De Guzman, TIME, 3 Apr. 2024 These trends are now self-reinforcing as more installations mean more use cases, which generates more data, in turn driving wider applications, leading to yet more installations. Kevin O'Marah, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 That’s the one market where the world’s most popular messenger—WhatsApp—has yet to build a dominant foothold, and where iPhone’s own dominance, especially among the young, boosts iMessage through a self-reinforcing network effect. Zak Doffman, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 Steinberg and Stone argue that this change to a more circular orbit is a self-reinforcing process. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 17 Jan. 2024 The dominance of dominant caste men within the tech ecosystem is likely to be self-reinforcing, since the economic opportunities that the tech sector affords remain concentrated in a single social group. Akanksha Singh, WIRED, 4 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-reinforcing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1884, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-reinforcing was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near self-reinforcing

Cite this Entry

“Self-reinforcing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-reinforcing. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

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