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 Your art needs to punch folks in the face & spark a reformation. Shauna Stuart |, al, "At the Pizitz, a new mural prompts conversations about public art and race," 15 June 2020 Activists have called for nationwide reformation of police departments that prioritize accountability and transparency, while also diverting funding away from militarizing the police to social programs that bolster the community. NBC News, "Madison mayor apologizes after video leaks of her praising officers with no mention of police reform," 11 June 2020 Bieber pushed for legislation on national and international trade and the reformation of health care. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "Owen Bieber, longtime UAW president, dies at 90," 17 Feb. 2020 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

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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Statistics for reformation

Last Updated

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reformation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 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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