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)

1 : relating to or favoring reform All of the great American reform movements—from civil rights to child-labor laws—started far from Washington, D.C. In state legislatures and town halls …— William Greider
2 Reform : of, relating to, or practicing Reform Judaism Reform Jews, by the end of the nineteenth century, had adopted the custom of rising to their feet to pronounce the Shema in unison.— Jonathan D. Sarna

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 re-form (audio) \ noun
reformable \ ri-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce re-form (audio) \ adjective

Verb (2)

re-formation \ (ˌ)rē-​fȯr-​ˈmā-​shən How to pronounce re-form (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for reform

Synonyms: Verb (1)

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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 Whether diversity efforts and sensitivity training can reform the department—or if police departments can be reformed at all—remains an open question. Jim Daley, Scientific American, "White Chicago Cops Use Force More Often than Black Officers," 11 Feb. 2021 Many experts have urged Biden to reform the launch system, perhaps requiring two or more people to authorize nuclear weapons use, or taking the whole system off a hair trigger altogether. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Here's How Trump Will Pass the Nuclear Football to Biden," 20 Jan. 2021 These policies would dramatically reform and improve our elections. Time, "Cory Booker and Tiffany Muller: How the Next Congress Can Improve U.S. Elections and Protect Voting Rights," 30 Dec. 2020 Trump claimed the business acumen and entrepreneurial independence to reform Washington from the inside—to drain the swamp and make the deals that no one else could. Kyle Edward Williams, The New Republic, "The End of the Businessman President," 9 Dec. 2020 But to deliver on that promise, critics say, OPSC must reform. The Christian Science Monitor, "Ex-Boko Haram fighters deradicalized, but still unreconciled," 8 Dec. 2020 Lawmakers have also reintroduced legislation to reform the toxic substances department, which was passed earlier this year but vetoed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Tony Barboza Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "California sues to recover costs for Exide lead cleanup, but community still wants justice," 19 Dec. 2020 Despite the recent calls to reform the monarchy, no lese majeste charges had been filed since March 2018. Helen Regan And Kocha Olarn, CNN, "Thai protest leaders report to police on charges of insulting the monarchy, as authorities' tolerance wears out," 30 Nov. 2020 Louisville settled with Taylor's family for $12 million and promised to reform the police department. Carly Ortiz-lytle, Washington Examiner, "Former NBA star demands officers who killed Breonna Taylor be arrested on ESPN," 24 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another piece of parole board reform is being considered in the legislature, which would make the votes publicly available through the Freedom of Information Act. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Parole board reform heads back to Virginia Senate with amendments," 18 Feb. 2021 And the politics of immigration reform remains just as divisive and dysfunctional, though there is broad public support for legalizing the status of Dreamers. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Biden proposes a path to citizenship. Some Dreamers have already bailed.," 5 Feb. 2021 Among those enthusiastically supporting Emery’s request are his relatives, fellow inmates and advocates of sentencing reform. Garrett Andrews, oregonlive, "Oregon woman fights release of her attacker who wants out early from 60-year sentence due to COVID-19," 20 Jan. 2021 Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible, is among the activists hoping that what happened at the Capitol underlines the stakes of reform for Democratic lawmakers. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Murder the Filibuster and Never Look Back," 19 Jan. 2021 McMaster, a former state attorney general, has largely been quiet on the subject of magistrate reform. Joseph Cranney, ProPublica, "South Carolina’s Governor Addresses Magistrate Judge Controversy by Urging Changes," 15 Jan. 2021 DeLord, however, describes himself as a liberal Democrat who is receptive to the idea of police reform. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Garcia: Fix SAPD petition drive spurs questions on the best route to police reform," 14 Jan. 2021 The recent pushes follow more than a decade of reform, including creating an independent police auditor office, civilian review board and mandating officers wear body cameras. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "Oscar Grant: BART leaders condemn DA decision to not charge second officer amid push for policing reform," 14 Jan. 2021 In the absence of reform at the state level, at least a handful of county prosecutors across the country have directed their staff to stop seeking cash bail in many or all criminal cases. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "New Washtenaw County prosecutor will stop seeking cash bail," 4 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective March marks nine years since Ahmed Ismail Hassan, a Bahraini videographer, was shot after filming a pro-reform protest. Wired Staff, Wired, "One Free Press Coalition Spotlights Journalists Under Attack," 1 Feb. 2021 More board members in line with the district's pro-reform policies could ensure momentum continues for years to come. Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star, "Balance of power on Indianapolis Public Schools board up for grabs in election," 4 Nov. 2020 In late September, two TJ parents would write a lengthy, anti-reform article in online magazine Quillette that attacked Didi specifically. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "Didi’s voice," 19 Oct. 2020 After the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre targeted pro-reform students in Beijing, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents left out of fear. Laurel Chor, National Geographic, "Hong Kong mourns the end of its way of life as China cracks down on dissent," 1 Sep. 2020 Teachers attribute momentum from the strike for November’s changing of the guard on the Denver school board, shifting control from members backed by pro-reform organizations to candidates supported by the teachers union. Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, "One year after Denver’s historic teacher strike, what did the walkout accomplish?," 9 Feb. 2020 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

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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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Time Traveler for reform

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for reform

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reform.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reform. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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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Comments on reform

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