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

Now Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan’s reforming president, is shutting it down. The Economist, "Uzbekistan’s new president closes Jaslyk prison camp," 8 Aug. 2019 There’s zero sign that Trump is offering to match China in reforming the way each nation runs its economy. Charlie Campbell / Beijing, Time, "The U.S.-China Trade War Is Steering the World Toward Crisis and There Is No Easy Retreat," 7 Aug. 2019 The Jonas Brothers have had a busy year, what with reforming the band, dropping a new album, and throwing a pair of weddings for Joe and Nick. Jordan Runtagh, PEOPLE.com, "The Jonas Brothers 'Take a Trip to the Year 3000' with Aging FaceApp," 17 July 2019 Ardent Construction superintendent Calvin Neill says all the outside brick is being reformed, and a damaged exterior cornice will be reconstructed using fiberglass. USA TODAY, "Glowing rock fight, Statehouse stash, hometown hero: News from around our 50 states," 15 July 2019 Though some members tried the solo route for a few years, the band reformed and is back together until this day, 26 years later. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "26 Years Later, Backstreet Boys & *NSYNC Superfans Go Head To Head," 15 July 2019 High school students gather in a general assembly in 1986 to protest against a bill intended to reform the French Department of Education. Ryan Prior And Erin Davis, CNN, "Bastille Day inspired centuries of civil disobedience in France. Here's why," 13 July 2019 Hole fans will be happy(?) to know that Norway's most notorious serial rapist, Svein Finne, returns and isn't exactly reformed after his years in prison. Rob Merrill, Dallas News, "Super sleuth Harry Hole is at his sharpest in Jo Nesbo's 'Knife'," 9 July 2019 A decade later, Big Wreck reformed and released 2012’s Albatross, featuring just two of the four original members, Doherty -- who had married a Canadian and moved to Sarnia, Ontario -- and Thornley. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Brian Doherty, Co-Founder of Canadian Rock Band Big Wreck, Dies at 51," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Viland will become Cleveland’s first Police Inspector General, a position mandated through a federal consent decree aimed at reform efforts in the department. Thomas Jewell, cleveland.com, "Search committee to be formed for new Solon Police Chief," 13 Aug. 2019 The death of Brown, an 18-year-old black man, at the hands of a white police officer gave voice to the Black Lives Matter movement, put police departments under intense scrutiny and gave momentum to judicial reform efforts. Editors, USA TODAY, "Ferguson five years later, online extremism summit, Premier League: 5 things to know Friday," 9 Aug. 2019 The fight for equality Saudi women’s new freedoms are part of broader reform efforts led by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to modernize the conservative Muslim country of 33 million and to alleviate international human rights concerns. Alainna Liloia, The Conversation, "Saudi women are fighting for their freedom – and their hard-won victories are growing," 8 Aug. 2019 Governor Raimondo is set to sign an executive order this afternoon that will address the state’s criminal and juvenile justice reform efforts. Dan Mcgowan, BostonGlobe.com, "Someone just polled Providence schools. The questions were fascinating.," 7 Aug. 2019 Clinton, progressive critics argued, harmed African American families with welfare reform efforts and a 1994 crime bill that many experts blame for accelerating mass incarceration. NBC News, "Toni Morrison defended, championed and chastised presidents," 6 Aug. 2019 The governor, for instance, attended Trump's rally in Ohio earlier this month where the president praised his pension reform efforts while acknowledging his poor approval numbers. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "President Trump will headline a private fundraiser for Gov. Matt Bevin in Louisville," 2 Aug. 2019 The department has engaged in a spurt of new hiring and reform efforts under Director Bobby Cagle, who spent time in foster care growing up in North Carolina. Matt Stiles, Los Angeles Times, "After boy’s death, family sues L.A. County’s child welfare agency for $50 million," 1 Aug. 2019 In a ceremony Monday in a Lake Hood airplane hangar, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy fulfilled a campaign promise by signing legislation that repeals and replaces much of the criminal justice reform effort known as Senate Bill 91. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Gov. Dunleavy signs legislation to repeal, replace the crime-reform measure SB 91," 9 July 2019

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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Learn More about reform

Dictionary Entries near reform

reford

reforestation

reforge

reform

re-form

reformade

reformado

Statistics for reform

Last Updated

16 Aug 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

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