re|in|force «REE ihn FRS, -FOHRS», verb, -forced, -forc|ing, noun.
1. to strengthen with new force or materials: »

to reinforce a garment with an extra thickness of cloth, to reinforce a wall or a bridge, to reinforce an army or a fleet.

2. a) to strengthen; make stronger or more effective: »

to reinforce an argument, a plea, or an effect.

b) to add to; increase; supplement: »

to reinforce a stock or a supply.

3. Psychology. to encourage or strengthen (a response to a stimulus), usually by rewarding a correct response and withholding reward for an incorrect one: »

If they happen to be particularly upset by their son's stomach pains…and tend to play down the other effects, they will “reward” or reinforce the specific symptoms whenever they occur (John E. Pfeiffer).

a) to reward (a person or animal) for responding to a stimulus: »

We decided that this man who had been mute for 30 years had learned to be mute—or more technically had been reinforced (rewarded) by his environment for being mute (Irene Kassorla).

Psychology. to encourage or strengthen a response or stimulus: »

With the red light on, push the manual feed switch to reward the bird every time it hits the switch. Continue to reinforce only as the bird pecks closer to the red light…A pigeon can be trained in this way in as little as 15 minutes (Scientific American).

1. something that reinforces or strengthens.
2. the thicker metal at the rear part of a cannon to strengthen the barrel where the charge is exploded. Also, reinforce.
[earlier re-enforce < re- + enforce; perhaps patterned on Middle French renforcer]
re´in|forc´er, noun.

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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