Definition of reinforce in English:



  • 1 Strengthen or support (an object or substance), especially with additional material.

    ‘the helmet has been reinforced with a double layer of cork’
    • ‘The U.S. Army reinforced its troops to take on the gunmen.’
    • ‘Apparently the Germans played along in order to win time to reinforce their forces in Italy, which were increased from six divisions in July to eighteen in September with four more on their way.’
    • ‘A fierce fight then ensued while multitudes of tanks and helicopters came to reinforce their forces fighting against us.’
    • ‘Hours later, we again took to the air, this time towing gliders full of troops to reinforce the men we just dropped.’
    • ‘At first signs of enemy preparation for attack, action is taken to reinforce the defense, and weapon assets and personnel are put on high alert.’
    • ‘The coup collapsed when the Turk military garrison in Cyprus was reinforced by troops from mainland Turkey.’
    • ‘Two divisions were sent by Lee to reinforce the left wing.’
    • ‘Forming a defensive network, the fortified villages would be reinforced in case of concerted attack.’
    • ‘These supplies were the last hope of the U.S. forces for reinforcing their depleted divisions and stopping the enemy's imminent breakthrough.’
    • ‘The Spanish governors in Italy declared allegiance to their new sovereign, and French troops reinforced them.’
    • ‘On landing the 7th Battalion of 5th Brigade begins a forced march towards Pegasus Bridge, to reinforce the glider force.’
    • ‘The question now was where to employ the heavy machine guns to best support and reinforce the light machine guns and strengthen King Company's defense.’
    • ‘US defence secretary said the military would be reinforcing its special forces in the country.’
    • ‘It is, however, heartening that Government has reinforced troops on the border especially where there have been incursions.’
    • ‘We were reinforcing our troop presence in South Korea and had other military options on the table.’
    • ‘The tactical air assault force can be reinforced with a motorized rifle battalion.’
    • ‘They are expected to help secure supply lines and reinforce coalition forces approaching the capital of five million people.’
    • ‘If necessary, they can be reinforced through partial deployment of additional forces.’
    • ‘Their defence strengthened, they could send troops to reinforce their left flank - a redistribution of strength that would prove vital in the Battle of the Marne.’
    • ‘Then, at the end of August, Japanese forces endeavoured to flank Port Moresby and reinforce their troops on the Kokoda Track by forcing a landing at Milne Bay.’
    strengthen, fortify, bolster up, shore up, buttress, prop up, underpin, brace, stiffen, toughen, support, hold up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Strengthen (an existing feeling, idea, or habit)
      ‘various actions of the leaders so reinforced fears and suspicions that war became unavoidable’
      • ‘Their findings reinforce the idea that communication failure is an important source of medical error.’
      • ‘Students can also start and stop the presentation at any point and repeat slides to reinforce material.’
      • ‘She constantly reinforced the idea that you can do anything you want.’
      • ‘She said that from the time Ian was about 2 years old, she had worked with him to reinforce certain habits.’
      • ‘The diversity of the material found during excavation reinforces the view that the role of this settlement was to control a major trading artery.’
      • ‘Don't reinforce the idea that body shape and size should be a significant factor in how we perceive people.’
      • ‘Consumerism is reinforced by media, films, the corporate invasion of the classroom, and by governments whose taxes and policies depend on it.’
      • ‘She said the educational system reinforces the idea that there is only one right answer, stifling creativity.’
      • ‘Worse, you are reinforcing bad habits in your own mental model and gaining the wrong kind of work experience.’
      • ‘A sense of identity reinforces the idea of self.’
      • ‘Often the parent feels helpless and very discouraged and may also give up on the child which reinforces the child's feelings of inadequacy and may cause the child to retreat or regress further.’
      • ‘A voodoo mask on the label reinforces the idea of ritual and adventure.’
      • ‘Something in her told her she could trust him and he reinforced that feeling by being trustworthy.’
      • ‘The play's portrayal of despairing men and women losing themselves in drink is reinforced today by alcohol consumption surveys.’
      • ‘Participants continue to meet in monthly support groups to reinforce the values and skills developed while in the program.’
      • ‘The diagrams are large and clear and there are cartoons throughout the book that reinforce the subject matter.’
      • ‘Their genuine excitement, appreciation and enthusiasm reinforced our belief that we were on the right track.’
      • ‘Unless there is a sustained effort and changes in attitudes and ideas are periodically reinforced, there can be no real change, she asserts.’
      • ‘When managers refuse or fail to recognize the problem and further blame the victim, it reinforces feelings of guilt.’
      • ‘The logic of working together to reduce, reuse and recycle our rubbish is reinforced by a sense of a common heritage.’
    2. 1.2Strengthen (a military force) with additional personnel or equipment.
      ‘paratroopers were sent to reinforce the troops already in the area’


Late Middle English: from French renforcer, influenced by inforce, an obsolete spelling of enforce; the sense of providing military support is probably from Italian rinforzare.