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

Trump's tariffs are meant to pressure Beijing to reform its trade policies. NBC News, "China says it must 'counterattack' after U.S. tariff hike officially takes effect," 6 July 2018 As the push to reform the state’s CORI laws began to gather momentum, Small sought to bring in organizers who were personally affected by the issue. Adrian Walker, BostonGlobe.com, "Ex-offenders lose a tireless advocate," 3 July 2018 Some 1,200 rank-and-file police officers will get retroactive raises as part of the new contract, but the city won in its push to reform the disciplinary process for officers accused of misconduct. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "Cleveland agrees to three-year contract with police union after two years of negotiations," 14 May 2018 The homeless need opportunity, the addicted need treatment, the Dreamers need protection, the prison system needs reforming, the LGBTQ community needs acceptance, the social safety net needs saving, and the misogyny needs to stop. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "Oprah to Graduates: Vote! Vote! Vote!," 11 May 2018 This meant reforming the French language, the calendar, and the country’s weights and measures. James Vincent, The Verge, "How and why we redefined the kilogram," 18 Dec. 2018 Far-right groups are using online games such as 'Fortnite' to radicalize kids and recruit them into their organizations, according to one reformed neo-Nazi. Alex Sassoon Coby, Fox News, "'Fortnite' used by white supremacists to recruit kids, ex neo-Nazi reveals," 2 Oct. 2018 Mr Crabtree thinks India needs its own progressive era, like America’s in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in which the machinery of the state is reformed in order to make markets work better. The Economist, "The tycoons who are powering India’s rise," 5 July 2018 In response, Cantrell sent back a two-page letter outlining progress made toward reforming the Sewerage & Water Board, including recent hires made to replace interim staff and goals set for reducing billing errors. Kevin Litten, NOLA.com, "Mayor Cantrell doesn't like Giarrusso's 'tone' in letter to Sewerage & Water Board," 30 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 On Monday night, the Senate Minority Leader was supposed to address constituents at a town hall meeting at Congregation Beth Elohim, a Brooklyn reform synagogue. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Angry Brooklyn Democrats berate cardboard cutout of Chuck Schumer.," 3 July 2018 When the state passed the Chicago School Reform Act in 1989, creating the LSC system, there was a lot of energy in the community for school reform. City Bureau, Chicago Reader, "Education / News / Politics When local school councils go rogue, can anything be done?," 2 July 2018 In April, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in the streets of Lilongwe and four other cities to demand an end to corruption and power blackouts, as well as call for electoral reforms. Michael Cohen, Bloomberg.com, "Malawi Leader Defends Anti-Graft Record After Ally's Rebuke," 28 June 2018 As part of the reforms, internal records show, a commander suggested the agency maintain staff levels but eliminate overtime for Emergency Response Stations. Kay Lazar, BostonGlobe.com, "Records reveal trooper posts that are overtime all the time," 23 June 2018 As candidate and as president, Mr. Trump repeatedly claimed his tax reforms would not benefit the wealthy, and railed against big Wall Street banks and tech giants. Bobby Jindal, WSJ, "If Democrats Were Shrewd . . .," 30 Dec. 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

18 Jan 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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