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

Keep scrolling for more

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)

amend, correct, debug, emend, rectify, red-pencil, remedy

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Congress could step in and reform existing digital privacy laws at any time. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "SCOTUS and Congress Leave the Right to Privacy Up for Grabs," 3 July 2018 But at the height of the battle to reform the state’s criminal justice laws a decade ago, Pelzer — a charismatic army veteran turned community organizer — was a tireless advocate for easing the path of criminal offenders back into society. Adrian Walker, BostonGlobe.com, "Ex-offenders lose a tireless advocate," 3 July 2018 Efforts to reform the EU’s asylum laws have run for two years without success, blocked mostly over the issue of which country should take responsibility for migrants and refugees and for how long. Washington Post, "EU countries prepare mini-summit as migration row festers," 20 June 2018 Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff has called on the state Legislature to reform Texas campaign finance laws during the 2019 legislative session. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Wolff calls on legislators to reform campaign finance laws," 13 June 2018 This quickly forced other states to reform their own laws. John Steele Gordon, WSJ, "Regulators Take On Silicon Valley, as They Did Earlier Innovators," 17 Apr. 2018 Tehreek-e-Laibak was born out of a protest movement glorifying Mumtaz Qadri, a bodyguard of the governor of Punjab province who shot dead his boss in 2011 over his call to reform strict blasphemy laws. Jeff S. Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Muddy Trails run may disrupt traffic in Creekside," 5 Apr. 2018 House and Senate panels have held hearings in recent months, with another one scheduled for Wednesday by a House Financial Services subcommittee to discuss proposals to reform data security and breach notification laws. Bloomberg.com, "Banks Battle Retailers Over Proposal to Disclose Consumer Hacks," 7 Mar. 2018 Ivey believes that while cannabis is a for-profit industry, the fight to reform marijuana laws has brought industry leaders together. Rebecca Heilweil, Philly.com, "Philly's 'CannaMoms' say they aren't afraid of Sessions," 13 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The complicated matters of immigration reform and border enforcement have vexed U.S. presidents for at least two generations. BostonGlobe.com, "A migrant child’s days in detention included cleaning toilets," 14 July 2018 More recently, Professor Zhu, the historian from Shanghai, gave a speech there arguing that China’s course of reform and opening up had stalled after 1989. Chris Buckley, New York Times, "In Beijing, Doors Shut on a Bastion of Independent Ideas," 11 July 2018 Will the change spur pension fixes and other fiscal reforms in states like California, and Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland? Arthur Laffer, WSJ, "The Court Tosses Blue States a Life Jacket," 10 July 2018 He is encouraged by President Donald Trump’s talk of prison reform and recent pardon of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Gary boxer convicted of leading gang was denied clemency by Obama, now seeks release under Trump," 6 July 2018 King Push has been a staunch supporter of prison reform and uses his artistic platform to speak on political and social issues in hopes to spark activism. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Pusha-T Compares 'Make America Great Again' Hat to 'This Generation's Ku Klux Klan Hood'," 6 July 2018 The key to this conservatism is restraint, reform, and concern with the stability of the society as a whole. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Anthony Kennedy and the Death of True American Conservatism," 29 June 2018 The Orange Generation advocacy platform calls for mandatory gun lockers, mental health service reform and federal research into gun violence. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "National March For Our Lives tour making July stop in Houston," 27 June 2018 And an amendment seeking to defund the old jail above police headquarters to force bail reform and address overcrowding failed in committee. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "See what Metro Council changed in Mayor Greg Fischer's budget plan," 27 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reform

Statistics for reform

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reform

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on reform

What made you want to look up reform? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!