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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For Gillibrand, political inequality is the roadblock to reform. Adam Eichen, The New Republic, "Restoring Democracy is Not Open to Debate," 2 July 2019 But an oversight team installed by Gov. Kate Brown to reform the child welfare system will keep working to bring such children back to Oregon, a staffer said Friday. oregonlive.com, "Push to disclose more about foster children sent out of state still alive in Oregon Senate," 29 June 2019 Part of Puckett’s task will be in helping to reform the city’s $100 million-per-year city workers’ compensation program, which for decades largely was handled in secret under the auspices of Ald. Gregory Pratt, chicagotribune.com, "Mayor Lori Lightfoot appoints administrator to lower city’s expenses from police lawsuits, other expenses," 28 June 2019 The State Board of Education on Monday will select a new leader for the beleaguered Florida Virtual School, which Gov. Ron DeSantis is seeking to reform by wiping out its Board of Trustees and ordering a new audit of the public online school. Beth Kassab, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida Virtual School set to get new leader picked by Board of Education," 28 June 2019 Da Brat tries to reform both her image and her finances. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Angela Simmons Reveals Why She Split With Bow Wow," 27 June 2019 The Celtics enter free agency looking to reform its roster after losing to the Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Report: Celtics 'Frontrunner' to Sign Hornets PG Kemba Walker in Free Agency," 27 June 2019 The immigration system needs to be reformed so that families aren’t separated at the border. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The Democratic debaters each state the greatest threat to the US," 26 June 2019 Louisville is not the first city to try to reform marijuana penalization. , Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville passes ordinance telling police not to prioritize marijuana possession," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Last year, Mill teamed up with Rubin and fellow rapper JAY-Z to launch the criminal-justice reform organization after Mill served five months at Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution for violating probation in a 2008 gun and drug case. Hanna Flanagan, PEOPLE.com, "Meek Mill Is Now Co-Owner of the Sports Apparel Retailer Lids," 27 June 2019 At the time, Congress was attempting to work toward comprehensive immigration reform. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Border apprehensions: Looking to the past to understand the current spike in illegal crossings," 23 June 2019 Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Michael D. Shear, New York Times, "Trump Says He’ll Delay Deportation Operation Aimed at Undocumented Families," 22 June 2019 Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump postpones nationwide immigration enforcement sweep," 22 June 2019 Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Colleen Long, Twin Cities, "Trump postpones nationwide immigration enforcement sweep," 22 June 2019 Yet despite the fact that over half of prison inmates were convicted of a violent crime, most criminal justice reforms exclude those with violent pasts. David J. Harding, Scientific American, "Do Prisons Make Us Safer?," 21 June 2019 The event's goal was to promote the hiring of prisoners released under the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill President Donald Trump signed into law in December 2018. Tiffany Diane Tso, refinery29.com, "Kim Kardashian Went Back To The White House — & Had A Moment With Ivanka Trump," 15 June 2019 The public’s appetite for the harshest forms of punishment is waning, and criminal justice reform occupies a rare bipartisan policy space. Dana Walters, The Conversation, "When America had an open prison – the story of Kenyon Scudder and his ‘prison without walls’," 14 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reform

Dictionary Entries near reform

reford

reforestation

reforge

reform

re-form

reformade

reformado

Statistics for reform

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reform

The first known use of reform was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up reform? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!