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)

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

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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

Some liberals back him while more moderate Democrats talk about reforming ICE. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mark Pocan push to abolish ICE reverberates in Wisconsin U.S. Senate race," 9 July 2018 The decision was a victory for proponents of reforming constitutional law for the digital age, including Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was part of the majority. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "SCOTUS and Congress Leave the Right to Privacy Up for Grabs," 3 July 2018 On February 18, 1879, Representative Horace Page of California offered a compromise that agreed to the consolidation of the scientific surveys but made no mention of reforming the land-survey system. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 For now, though, politicians across Europe seem more likely to use the plight of the MV Aquarius to their advantage than to think of reforming their migration policies. Aryn Baker, Time, "How One Migrant Ship Became a Symptom of a Sick Europe," 12 June 2018 An outstanding trial lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno of the League, has been given the job of reforming Italy’s notoriously tangled bureaucracy. The Economist, "Italy, at last, gets a new government," 1 June 2018 The county had been in the process of reforming its bail policy when the lawsuit hit in 2016, but lawyers for the indigent defendants argued the improvements didn’t go far enough to protect the pretrial rights of people presumed innocent. Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Appeals court rules Harris County revised bail order can move forward," 1 June 2018 The rapper's sentencing was opposed by the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, as well as Governor Tom Wolf, among many others, and sparked an ongoing debate about reforming the prison and criminal justice systems. Tom Philip, GQ, "Meek Mill Is Getting Out of Prison," 24 Apr. 2018 After Khosrowshahi replaced him last fall, Uber pledged to follow a philosophy of being kinder and gentler and to reform itself. Mike Isaac, BostonGlobe.com, "At Uber, new questions arise about executive behavior," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The European Court of Justice is set to hear one case challenging the government’s judicial reforms, with another case likely to be referred in coming months. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, "Poland Steps Up Supreme Court Purge," 13 July 2018 In a speech Thursday to the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., Ryan says, ‘Tax reform is working. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Fox News Power Rankings: Hello, Wisconsin," 12 July 2018 During her speech, Breed spoke of the city’s homelessness crisis and her commitment to public safety, police reform, education and protecting the environment. Niki Mcgloster, Essence.com, "The Quick Read: London Breed Officially Sworn In As San Francisco’s First Black Female Mayor," 12 July 2018 John Legend and Chrissy Teigen spoke to the crowd in L.A. And at every rally, in every city, marchers brought signs that iterated their demands for reform in poignant ways—through slogans, illustrations, and more. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "The Most Powerful Signs From the 'Families Belong Together' Marches," 30 June 2018 However, despite the reforms, the NSA still received some data from the telecommunications companies that the agency was not authorized to see and some of that data was erroneous, Augustine said. CBS News, "NSA deletion of more than 685 million call records raises questions," 30 June 2018 On the other hand, immigration reform, which has stalled in the House (see yesterday), could be more likely if Democrats win the House and Senate, and if President Trump is willing to make a deal. Chuck Todd, NBC News, "All elections have consequences. 2018's are huge.," 22 June 2018 Since then, the makeup mogul has been in regular contact with Kushner about prison reform in general, and the possibility of Johnson being pardoned by the president. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Had Dinner With Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner After Her White House Visit," 31 May 2018 The digital publications also had a hand in a big reform in Argentina. The Economist, "Latin America’s new media are growing up," 14 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

8 Nov 2018

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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