re·​form·​er | \ ri-ˈfȯr-mər How to pronounce reformer (audio) \

Definition of reformer

1 : one that works for or urges reform
2 capitalized : a leader of the Protestant Reformation
3 : an apparatus for cracking oils or gases to form specialized products

Examples of reformer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 60-year-old, who is Black and has said he was beaten by police as a teenager, also touts his credentials as a reformer inside and outside the New York Police Department. Washington Post, 16 May 2021 One of the unlikeliest trends of the Trump years was the rise of the prosecutor as a crusading criminal justice reformer. Nikhil Pal Singh, The New Republic, 14 May 2021 Roessler carved out a reputation as a reformer, but police unions and some of the department’s 1,400 rank-and-file officers criticized his leadership and said morale suffered during his tenure. Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2021 Other women gaining recognition with the campaign include crystallographer and peace campaigner Kathleen Lonsdale, former slave Ellen Craft, social reformer Caroline Norton, designer Jean Muir, and barrister Helena Normanton. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 5 Apr. 2021 Bonta was first elected to the Assembly in 2012 and quickly carved out a reputation as a criminal justice reformer. Adam Beam, Star Tribune, 25 Mar. 2021 William Booth’s famous poverty maps, which the social reformer used to catalogue affluence and indigence in late Victorian London, don’t extend this far south. Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2021 Becton was appointed in 2017 and won election the next year as a reformer, with promises to change the bail system and address racial disparities in sentencing. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 Apr. 2021 Gascón said he was elected as a reformer and believed hiring advisors from both sides of the courtroom aisle was the best way to help shift the agency’s culture. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2021

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

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for reformer

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The first known use of reformer was in 1526

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Statistics for reformer

Last Updated

28 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reformer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of reformer

: a person who works to change and improve a society, government, etc.


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