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)

: relating to or favoring reform

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

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

The United States provides funds for Romania to reform its legal standards. The Christian Science Monitor, "Why nations are not alone in fighting graft," 21 June 2018 Voter representation: The Voting Rights Act seeks to reform representation of minorities in local elections. Rachel La Corte, The Seattle Times, "New laws take effect in Washington this week," 6 June 2018 Modernisers want to reform the system and allow migrants to live more securely in cities. The Economist, "In China’s cities, young people with rural ties are angry," 3 May 2018 The Indiana General Assembly sought to reform township government earlier this year, but a township consolidation bill failed to win support. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Democratic candidates flock to Calumet Township board race," 27 Apr. 2018 Days after the shooting, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the government would reform their gun laws. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Gun Violence Is a Women's Issue," 27 Mar. 2019 These associations often take positions on political issues—as in North Dakota, where Mr. Fleck supported a 2014 ballot initiative to reform child-custody law. Jacob Huebert And, WSJ, "Lawyers Have Rights, Too," 20 Dec. 2018 Ty Witte said detectives have encountered suspects who know exactly how SB 91 and SB 54 — controversial efforts to reform Alaska's criminal justice system — changed sentencing for first-time car thieves. Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, "After a record year for property crime in Anchorage, car thefts are skyrocketing in 2018," 28 June 2018 Efforts to reform auto no-fault insurance have fallen through when lawmakers have tried to limit those benefits, so the Senate decided to nibble around the edges of the issue. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan Senate passes auto insurance rate relief for seniors," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Delaney said, also arguing for infrastructure investment and international tax reform. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Here's Every Democrat Officially Running in the 2020 Presidential Election So Far," 11 Mar. 2019 In fact, 76 gun reform laws were passed in the last year. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Year After the Parkland Shooting, Has Anything Really Changed?," 14 Feb. 2019 Paul Morigi/WireImage House Democrats’ first bill of the year — a sweeping anti-corruption and pro-Democracy reform bill known as House Resolution 1 — is getting a companion bill in the Senate. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "House Democrats’ sweeping anti-corruption bill HR 1 is getting a Senate companion.," 18 Dec. 2018 Everytown, one of the largest national organizations that advocates for gun control and against gun violence, has created a tool that tells you exactly which candidates in your state support gun reform laws. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Gun Control Measures in the Midterms: How You Can Make a Difference With Your Vote," 30 Oct. 2018 Judicial reform groups, including Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, have instead advocated merit selection of judges, contending that system will result in a fairer and more independent judiciary. Liz Navratil, Philly.com, "Pa. Supreme Court justices got more than $180K in donations from law firms in clergy abuse case, records show," 11 July 2018 But talk is just that, and elections to the European Parliament in May 2019 mean further reform plans will soon slip into the deep freeze. The Economist, "After months of preparation, a damp squib on euro-zone reform," 29 June 2018 But, just like in the U.S., there are some gun owners who believe any reform is a slippery slope to the banning of all guns. Zac Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "New Zealand Banned Guns After Thoughts and Prayers. Why Can’t America?," 23 Mar. 2019 The reform was also kickstarted by increased urban air pollution. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Public transit’s missed opportunity," 20 Nov. 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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Statistics for reform

Last Updated

10 May 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 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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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

Comments on reform

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