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 After first seeking to incorporate Khatumo into Somalia's central government, Galaydh then sought to reform the Somaliland government to be more inclusive of the Khatumo region, Samatar said. Eric Roper, Star Tribune, "Former Somali leader Ali Khalif Galaydh, Twin Cities professor, dies at 78," 20 Nov. 2020 The county has been trying to reform jail operations since a string of inmate deaths in 2018, and reduce the overall population, a large portion of which suffer from mental health or addiction issues. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish proposes two-year diversion center program to be run by ADAMHS board, Oriana House," 20 Nov. 2020 The administration and Congress have tried and failed to reform part of that system — the rebates paid by drugmakers to the pharmacy benefit managers to get their products onto insurance plan formularies. Harris Meyer, chicagotribune.com, "Surprise Trump rule will require insurers to reveal what they actually pay for prescription drugs," 20 Nov. 2020 The families’ accountability efforts have had more success on another front: On Tuesday, the House passed a sweeping bill to reform FAA oversight over airplane manufacturers, following a damning House committee report on the failure of the 737 MAX. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, "The Boeing 737 MAX Is Cleared to Fly. Families of People Who Died on the Planes Wait for Answers.," 19 Nov. 2020 The administration and Congress have tried and failed to reform part of that system—the rebates paid by drugmakers to the pharmacy benefit managers to get their products onto insurance plan formularies. Harris Meyer, Fortune, "New Trump administration rule directs insurers to reveal what they pay for prescriptions," 19 Nov. 2020 Zuckerberg and Dorsey defended their companies' policies while expressing their willingness to work with lawmakers to reform Section 230. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "'You're the ultimate editor,' Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg lashed by Republicans and Democrats in Senate hearing," 17 Nov. 2020 The impending end of Donald Trump’s presidency and a new Biden administration provides an important opportunity to reform the nation’s launch authorities. Garrett M. Graff, Wired, "By the Way, Donald Trump Could Still Launch Nuclear Weapons at Any Time," 17 Nov. 2020 Since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, protest movements have pushed big cities to reform their policies on when a police officer can use force. Shane Bauer, The New Yorker, "How a Deadly Police Force Ruled a City," 16 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Health-care reform should be hesitant and operate through market structures. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "Obama the pretender," 24 Nov. 2020 Even if that happens, however, court reform is effectively dead for the foreseeable future. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court Is in Charge Now," 13 Nov. 2020 Police reform has been at the forefront of American politics this election season, especially after the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Jack Durschlag, Fox News, "Pompeo dismisses flak over 'second Trump administration' remark," 12 Nov. 2020 Veterans services, infrastructure and immigration reform are among the issues at the top of Gonzales’ list. Cayla Harris, ExpressNews.com, "Republican Tony Gonzales talks priorities, bipartisanship after congressional win," 11 Nov. 2020 Immigration reform was not a top priority in Obama’s first term, and the Democratic Congress focused on passing the Affordable Care Act and digging out from the recession. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "Here’s what Joe Biden wants to do as president, and what could stop him," 7 Nov. 2020 In New York state, bail reform was extremely unpopular and meshed well with defund the police, so a public safety angle was the most effective. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of November 2," 6 Nov. 2020 Education reform was on the top of the Babers’ family list when voting. Salma Reyes, The Arizona Republic, "Mesa Community College polls on Election Day eve: Short on lines, long on excitement," 3 Nov. 2020 What is the most important reform needed to improve access to health care? Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "US Senate race in Alabama: What Jones, Tuberville had to say on healthcare, COVID stimulus," 2 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective More board members in line with the district's pro-reform policies could ensure momentum continues for years to come. Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star, "Balance of power on Indianapolis Public Schools board up for grabs in election," 4 Nov. 2020 In late September, two TJ parents would write a lengthy, anti-reform article in online magazine Quillette that attacked Didi specifically. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "Didi’s voice," 19 Oct. 2020 After the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre targeted pro-reform students in Beijing, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents left out of fear. Laurel Chor, National Geographic, "Hong Kong mourns the end of its way of life as China cracks down on dissent," 1 Sep. 2020 Teachers attribute momentum from the strike for November’s changing of the guard on the Denver school board, shifting control from members backed by pro-reform organizations to candidates supported by the teachers union. Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, "One year after Denver’s historic teacher strike, what did the walkout accomplish?," 9 Feb. 2020 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

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reform.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reform. Accessed 4 Dec. 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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