reform

verb (1)
re·​form | \ ri-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce reform (audio) \
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)

1 : relating to or favoring reform All of the great American reform movements—from civil rights to child-labor laws—started far from Washington, D.C. In state legislatures and town halls …— William Greider
2 Reform : of, relating to, or practicing Reform Judaism Reform Jews, by the end of the nineteenth century, had adopted the custom of rising to their feet to pronounce the Shema in unison.— Jonathan D. Sarna

re-form

verb (2)
\ (ˌ)rē-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce re-form (audio) \
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 How to pronounce reformability (audio) \ noun
reformable \ ri-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce reformable (audio) \ adjective

Verb (2)

re-formation \ (ˌ)rē-​fȯr-​ˈmā-​shən How to pronounce re-formation (audio) \ noun

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 This year, legislators have introduced several proposals to reform the state’s groundwater rules. Ian James, azcentral, "Mohave County leaders ask state to help safeguard declining groundwater," 9 Feb. 2020 Looking back to 2019, Whitmer cited as highlights the bipartisan legislation to reform no-fault auto insurance. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Whitmer announces $3.5-billion road bonding plan in State of the State," 29 Jan. 2020 Prince Mohammed could be aided in his efforts to reform the Saudi economy as well as burnish his personal brand. Summer Said, WSJ, "Saudi Prince Courted Amazon’s Bezos Before Bitter Split," 27 Jan. 2020 Castro called to reform the entire process of the democratic debates while Booker pleaded his supporters to reach the final goal. Leora Yashari, refinery29.com, "Without Cory Booker, The 2020 Presidential Race Just Became Very White," 14 Jan. 2020 Facebook considered multiple smaller options to reform its platform. Jeremy B. Merrill, Quartz, "Facebook makes a decision: microtargeted, false political ads are fine," 9 Jan. 2020 There’s been a decades-long effort to reform solitary, especially in prisons. Don Thompson, SFChronicle.com, "These California jails use kinder approach to solitary," 26 Dec. 2019 But as Big Tech becomes increasingly involved in various sectors, including politics, users themselves must become more engaged in the efforts to reform the industry. The New Yorker, "The Mail," 12 Dec. 2019 The company investigated, leading to a shakeup in top management and efforts by Nike to reform its company culture. Marc Bain, Quartz at Work, "Employee activism hits Nike as its staff demands more support for women," 10 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Its job as the world’s lender of last resort often involves demanding reform. The Economist, "An adjustment programme The IMF undergoes structural reform," 15 Feb. 2020 The candidates for President have talked about comprehensive immigration reform. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "How the Trump Administration Uses the “Hidden Weapons” of Immigration Law," 13 Feb. 2020 The forces of demographic change and structural reforms must be joined with direct action. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "End the GOP," 13 Feb. 2020 The second is the Frieze Impact Prize, which goes to artists that contribute to mass incarceration reform. Breanna Andrews, The Hollywood Reporter, "MoMA President Emerita's Art for Justice Celebrated at Frieze L.A. Kickoff Event," 12 Feb. 2020 Along with the investigation, LAPD has announced reforms for using the database, including greater internal oversight. Los Angeles Times, "California attorney general to investigate LAPD gang-framing scandal," 10 Feb. 2020 Despite a recent boom in industrial plants moving to Louisiana, Edwards’ modest reforms were used by his Republican challengers in last year’s gubernatorial race as evidence of the Democrat’s hostility toward industry. Sara Sneath, ProPublica, "How Louisiana Lawmakers Stop Residents’ Efforts to Fight Big Oil and Gas," 7 Feb. 2020 Kentucky passed significant juvenile justice reform in 2014, and Westerfield — along with John Tilley, then a Democratic state representative and the former Justice and Public Safety Secretary under Gov. Matt Bevin — spearheaded the effort. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, "Youth advocates optimistic of bill that includes more discretion on trying teens as adults," 5 Feb. 2020 But despite reform, party bosses still held sway over national conventions, often disregarding primary results and making their own decisions on candidates. National Geographic, "Here’s the difference between a caucus and a primary election," 31 Jan. 2020 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

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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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Time Traveler for reform

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for reform

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reform.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/re-formation. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for reform

reform

verb
How to pronounce re-form (audio)

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
How to pronounce re-form (audio)

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

: to form (something) again

reform

verb
re·​form | \ ri-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce reform (audio) \
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 How to pronounce reform (audio) \

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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Comments on reform

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