Reinforcement is a way to learn and remember things, like a student who repeats the facts he has studied for a test over and over, or the ways we praise children when they share their toys or say "please" and "thank you" — reinforcement of the good manners we want them to use.

You’ll often hear the word reinforcement used in relation to a building or other structure that gets additional mechanical support, but the word can be used in a broader sense as well. In addition to strengthening walls, reinforcement can refer to the strengthening or propping up of an argument or a particular point of view. For example, if you show up in class every day and ask questions, that adds reinforcement to the notion that you’re a diligent student.

Definitions of reinforcement
  1. noun
    an act performed to strengthen approved behavior
    synonyms: reward
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    promise of reward as in "carrot and stick"
    type of:
    approval, approving, blessing
    the formal act of approving
  2. noun
    a military operation (often involving new supplies of men and materiel) to strengthen a military force or aid in the performance of its mission
    synonyms: reenforcement, support
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    close support
    close-in firing by one unit against an enemy engaged by another unit
    type of:
    military operation, operation
    activity by a military or naval force (as a maneuver or campaign)
  3. noun
    a device designed to provide additional strength
    “he used gummed reinforcements to hold the page in his notebook”
    synonyms: strengthener
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    show 16 types...
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    backing, mount
    something forming a back that is added for strengthening
    brace, bracing
    a structural member used to stiffen a framework
    a support that steadies or strengthens something else
    safety arch
    an undecorated arch that is included in order to strengthen or support a construction
    ankle brace
    a brace worn to strengthen the ankle
    back brace
    a brace worn to support the back
    a transverse brace
    gusset, gusset plate
    a metal plate used to strengthen a joist
    guy, guy cable, guy rope, guy wire
    a cable, wire, or rope that is used to brace something (especially a tent)
    knee brace
    a brace worn to strengthen the knee
    neck brace
    a brace worn to steady the neck
    a brace that extends from the rear of the keel to support the rudderpost
    (nautical) brace consisting of a heavy rope or wire cable used as a support for a mast or spar
    brace consisting of a longitudinal member to strengthen a fuselage or hull
    brace consisting of a bar or rod used to resist longitudinal compression
    crosstie, railroad tie, sleeper, tie
    one of the cross braces that support the rails on a railway track
    type of:
    an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
  4. noun
    information that makes more forcible or convincing
    “his gestures provided eloquent reinforcement for his complaints”
    synonyms: reenforcement
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    type of:
    information that confirms or verifies
  5. noun
    (psychology) a stimulus that strengthens or weakens the behavior that produced it
    synonyms: reinforcer, reinforcing stimulus
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    positive reinforcer, positive reinforcing stimulus
    a reinforcing stimulus that serves to increase the likelihood of the response that produces it
    negative reinforcer, negative reinforcing stimulus
    a reinforcing stimulus whose removal serves to decrease the likelihood of the response that produced it
    type of:
    input, stimulant, stimulation, stimulus
    any stimulating information or event; acts to arouse action
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