reform

verb (1)
re·​form | \ ri-ˈfȯrm \
reformed; reforming; reforms

Definition of reform

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to put or change into an improved form or condition
b : to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses
2 : to put an end to (an evil) by enforcing or introducing a better method or course of action
3 : to induce or cause to abandon evil ways reform a drunkard
4a : to subject (hydrocarbons) to cracking
b : to produce (gasoline, gas, etc.) by cracking

intransitive verb

: to become changed for the better

reform

noun

Definition of reform (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : amendment of what is defective, vicious, corrupt, or depraved
2 : removal or correction of errors or of an abuse or a wrong
3 capitalized : reform judaism

reform

adjective

Definition of reform (Entry 3 of 4)

: relating to or favoring reform

re-form

verb (2)
\ (ˌ)rē-ˈfȯrm \
re-formed; re-forming; re-forms

Definition of re-form (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to form again

intransitive verb

: to take form again the ice re-formed on the lake

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Other Words from reform

Verb (1)

reformability \ ri-​ˌfȯr-​mə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
reformable \ ri-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​bəl \ adjective

Verb (2)

re-formation \ (ˌ)rē-​fȯr-​ˈmā-​shən \ noun

Synonyms for reform

Synonyms: Verb (1)

habilitate, reclaim, redeem, regenerate, rehabilitate

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Choose the Right Synonym for reform

Verb (1)

correct, rectify, emend, remedy, redress, amend, reform, revise mean to make right what is wrong. correct implies taking action to remove errors, faults, deviations, defects. correct your spelling rectify implies a more essential changing to make something right, just, or properly controlled or directed. rectify a misguided policy emend specifically implies correction of a text or manuscript. emend a text remedy implies removing or making harmless a cause of trouble, harm, or evil. set out to remedy the evils of the world redress implies making compensation or reparation for an unfairness, injustice, or imbalance. redress past social injustices amend, reform, revise imply an improving by making corrective changes, amend usually suggesting slight changes amend a law , reform implying drastic change plans to reform the court system , and revise suggesting a careful examination of something and the making of necessary changes. revise the schedule

Examples of reform in a Sentence

Verb (1)

The program is designed to reform prisoners. They want to reform campaign spending. The laws need to be reformed. The program is designed to help former gang members who are trying to reform.

Noun

A group of senators are calling for reform of the nation's health-care system. He has proposed a list of political reforms.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Powell then revealed his deepest concern: The appointment of Hayden would effectively end efforts to reform the system of land surveys. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 While March For Our Lives activists in recent months have continued their efforts to reform the nation’s gun laws, on May 18, ten students were murdered by a 17-year-old classmate wielding a shotgun and a .38 caliber handgun. Thom Duffy, Billboard, "March For Our Lives and HeadCount to Stage Voter Registration 'Day of Action' to Fight Gun Violence," 25 May 2018 The Watergate investigations skillfully removed Nixon from office with bipartisan support and made a real effort to reform a presidential campaign process seen as drowning in money. Kevin Baker, The New Republic, "Why America needs truth and reconciliation after Trump," 17 May 2018 After unsuccessful efforts to reform the residents of the cities, whose behavior was truly appalling, the Lord told Lot and his family to flee because the cities were going to be destroyed. Glenna Christensen, idahostatesman, "Learn from the past, but don't live in it, for faith is about the future | Idaho Statesman," 26 Apr. 2018 But past conservative efforts to reform how the EPA uses science offers hints about about what the policy might entail. Time, "Scientists Worry Scott Pruitt's New EPA Change Will Harm Life-Saving Research," 30 Mar. 2018 Is the Republican Party too far gone, too willing to countenance anti-democratic behavior, to be able to reform itself? Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Wisconsin power grab is part of a bigger Republican attack on democracy," 6 Dec. 2018 But, beyond Major League Baseball, few entities in the United States operate with the kind of freedoms from antitrust laws that higher education would need to truly reform the admissions and financial aid process. Jeffrey Selingo, The Atlantic, "The Best Ways to Fix College Admissions Are Probably Illegal," 27 Apr. 2018 In early February, the House of Representatives approved legislation to reform how Congress handles these types of reports — a step the Senate has yet to take. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Every Female Senator Is Demanding Their Chamber Address Sexual Harassment," 28 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bauhaus was about ideas, about aesthetic reform, about believing that there was a sense of tidiness, order and meaning in a rapidly evolving world. Todd Plummer, Town & Country, "One Century Later, Bauhaus Is Still a Major Fashion Influence," 13 Feb. 2019 Single-payer supporters see this as another failure of the ACA and the need for more ambitious reforms. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Is employer-sponsored insurance really a good deal for workers?," 7 Feb. 2019 These things won't be independent to Gillibrand, however—most Democratic candidates in 2020 will seek some kind of single-payer federal health reform. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "This Is What Kirsten Gillibrand's Platform Is Expected to Look Like," 16 Jan. 2019 Uber should have listened to Miller's reform ideas Miller suggested several ways to improve Uber's safety record. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Uber manager in March: “We shouldn’t be hitting things every 15,000 miles”," 11 Dec. 2018 Corbis via Getty Images Nobody would blame New York City commuters for being disheartened after a year of disappointments, when subway stations were turned into waterfalls and the gubernatorial candidate championing transit reform was defeated. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Public transit’s missed opportunity," 20 Nov. 2018 Even when Facebook announced major privacy reforms in 2014, many of these partnerships continued unabated. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Facebook Allowed Corporate Partners to Access Private Messages," 19 Dec. 2018 Explain why the immigration reform, the tech people tried, what didn’t work? Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: ‘Dear America’ author Jose Antonio Vargas on Recode Decode," 24 Nov. 2018 But more-abstract national-reform rhetoric has little to redeem it. Jack Schneider, The Atlantic, "The Problem With Generalizing About ‘America’s Schools’," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The issue has been a point of contention for Conservative and Reform Jews for decades. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Jewish groups lash out after Israel shelves mixed-gender prayers at Western Wall," 26 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reform.' 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 reform

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1663, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1819, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for reform

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French refurmer, from Latin reformare, from re- + formare to form, from forma form

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Dictionary Entries near reform

reford

reforestation

reforge

reform

re-form

reformade

reformado

Statistics for reform

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reform

The first known use of reform was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for reform

reform

verb

English Language Learners Definition of reform

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to improve (someone or something) by removing or correcting faults, problems, etc.
: to improve your own behavior or habits

reform

noun

English Language Learners Definition of reform (Entry 2 of 3)

: the improvement of something by removing or correcting faults, problems, etc.
: an action, plan, rule, etc., that is meant to improve something

re-form

verb

English Language Learners Definition of re-form (Entry 3 of 3)

: to form (something) again

reform

verb
re·​form | \ ri-ˈfȯrm \
reformed; reforming

Kids Definition of reform

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make better or improve by removal of faults The program reforms prisoners. The law should be reformed.
2 : to stop engaging in bad habits or behavior He promised to reform.

Other Words from reform

reformer \ ri-​ˈfȯr-​mər \ noun

reform

noun

Kids Definition of reform (Entry 2 of 2)

: the improvement of something by removing faults or problems political reform
re·​form | \ ri-ˈfȯrm \

Legal Definition of reform

1 : to put (a writing) into a corrected form that more accurately reflects the agreement of the parties allows a writing signed by mistake to be reformed— W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al. — compare ratify
2 : to induce or cause to abandon wrongful or harmful ways a reformed drug dealer

intransitive verb

: to become changed for the better

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More from Merriam-Webster on reform

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reform

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reform

Spanish Central: Translation of reform

Nglish: Translation of reform for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reform for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about reform

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