ref·​or·​ma·​tion | \ ˌre-fər-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce reformation (audio) \

Definition of reformation

1 : the act of reforming : the state of being reformed
2 capitalized : a 16th century religious movement marked ultimately by rejection or modification of some Roman Catholic doctrine and practice and establishment of the Protestant churches

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Other Words from reformation

reformational \ ˌre-​fər-​ˈmā-​shnəl How to pronounce reformational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of reformation in a Sentence

the reformation of our justice system
Recent Examples on the Web People didn’t want to hear that we were still locked in a cycle of racial progress, backlash, retrenchment, and reformation of systems of racial and social control. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "Ten Years After “The New Jim Crow”," 17 Jan. 2020 These exhibitions, several of which are reviewed below, clarify the museum’s ambitious reformation project and provide a valuable commentary on the permanent collection in their midst. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "MoMA’s Art Treasure, No Longer Buried," 17 Oct. 2019 More questions were asked during the October Democratic debate about Ellen DeGeneres’ relationship with George W. Bush than about climate change, a clear sign that the debates need structural reformation, said Raad. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "Will You Watch Tonight’s Democratic Debate? The DNC Probably Doesn’t Care Either Way," 20 Nov. 2019 What’s been described as a cultural counter-reformation threatens to again centralize the approval of expenditures and to put decision-making authority back in the hands of the bureaucracy in Rome. Washington Post, "Will populist politics undo a renaissance at Italy’s Uffizi?," 13 Aug. 2019 Levitsky and Ziblatt point to the reformation of Germany’s center-right Christian Democratic Union after 1945. Adam Tooze, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy and Its Discontents," 6 June 2019 This supposes that hydrogen will be synthesized at centralized facilities using methane reformation, outfitted with a carbon capture system that could store any excess carbon in underwater aquifers off the coast of England. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Natural gas firms have a proposal to convert home heating to hydrogen," 25 Nov. 2018 The Roman Inquisition began in 1542 as part of the Catholic Church's counter-reformation against Protestantism, and prosecuted people for heresy and other doctrinal crimes. Fox News, "Vatican's Inquisition, Index of Banned Books open for study," 14 May 2018 Over time, through his words and deeds, notably with the Humane Society of the United States, Vick convinced me of his sincerity and reformation. Stu Bykofsky,, "Is Meek Mill the new Mumia? | Stu Bykofsky," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reformation.' 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 reformation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for reformation

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The first known use of reformation was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reformation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for reformation


How to pronounce reformation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of reformation

formal : the act or process of improving something or someone by removing or correcting faults, problems, etc.
: the 16th-century religious movement that led to the establishment of the Protestant churches


ref·​or·​ma·​tion | \ ˌre-fər-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce reformation (audio) \

Kids Definition of reformation

: the act of changing something or someone for the better


ref·​or·​ma·​tion | \ ˌre-fər-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce reformation (audio) \

Legal Definition of reformation

: the act or an instance of reforming specifically : the equitable remedy of reforming a writing (as a deed or contract) and enforcing it as reformed

Note: Reformation is allowed primarily to correct mistakes such as typographical errors or incorrectly chosen words. Occasionally reformation is permitted in cases of fraud or misrepresentation. Clear and convincing evidence of the mistake and of the intended agreement is usually required; sometimes parol evidence is sufficient to establish the agreement. This remedy is not applicable to wills.

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