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 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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The bill -- the key agenda item recommended by the council lawmakers formed to reform the state’s public records system -- died when the legislature adjourned June 30. oregonlive, "Oregon open records bill dies after governor’s staff privately contradicts her transparency pledge, documents show," 11 Sep. 2019 But these legal advances have come coupled with the repression of the Saudi female activists who have pushed to reform the guardianship system. Alainna Liloia, The Conversation, "Saudi women are fighting for their freedom – and their hard-won victories are growing," 8 Aug. 2019 Castro’s plan ties Community Development Block Grants and Home Investment Partnership money to reforming zoning practices. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Democrats are proposing a renters tax credit. Would it help or hurt renters?," 24 June 2019 Riley's possible selection was portrayed as a setback to reforming the police department, which is under federal consent decree after an investigation found the department in disarray after Hurricane Katrina. Kevin Litten, NOLA.com, "LaToya Cantrell spikes plan to hire former NOPD chief Warren Riley," 16 May 2018 The roundtable of more than 20 advocates and activists weighed in on everything from climate change to the humanitarian crisis in the Bahamas, to the need to reform our education system. Essence, "CBC: New Poll Says 83 Percent of Black Women Give Donald Trump An ‘F’ As President," 12 Sep. 2019 Kamala Harris laid out a sweeping agenda to reform the criminal justice system and reduce mass incarceration on Monday, in a sign that the California senator isn’t shying away from her record as a former prosecutor. Casey Tolan, The Mercury News, "Kamala Harris: end death penalty, remove mandatory minimum sentences, close private prisons," 9 Sep. 2019 Ohio Constitution changes were approved by landslide votes in 2018 to reform the congressional district process and in 2014 for the Statehouse district process. Rich Exner, cleveland.com, "What anti-gerrymandering court win in North Carolina means for Ohio," 4 Sep. 2019 Tate’s organization works to reform probation and parole policies and educate the public. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al, "Probation and Parole Board making changes after complaints on Shelby County move," 22 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yet Truman’s immigration policies also reflected his desire for pursuit of reform, and came at a moment when his stance on the matter faced great opposition on Capitol Hill. S. Deborah Kang, Time, "The History of Citizenship Day Is a Reminder That Being an American Has Always Been Complicated," 17 Sep. 2019 But county leaders put the proposal in the broader context of youth justice reform. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County revises proposal for juvenile offenders — more classes, fewer beds and a new plan for girls," 12 Sep. 2019 Kim styled this Sculpting Bodysuit underneath her professional suit while speaking on behalf of prison reform in D.C. in June. Kaitlyn Frey, PEOPLE.com, "Does Kim Kardashian's Shapewear Line Live Up to the Hype? 12 PEOPLE Editors Tried It to Find Out," 10 Sep. 2019 In the area of police reform, Harris reflects her knowledge of decades in the judicial trenches, offering specific paths forward. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Kamala Harris draws upon background in unveiling criminal justice plan," 9 Sep. 2019 Proponents of the reform say the current law, which allows people to apply to have one felony conviction or two misdemeanors set aside after five years, is too restrictive. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan bills would make more ex-offenders eligible to have criminal records expunged," 9 Sep. 2019 This lack of reform has left taxpayers exposed to future bailouts. CBS News, "Privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to shake up $10 trillion home loan market," 6 Sep. 2019 Portman noted that Congress passed some measure of reform in 2018 with the Fix NICS Act, which required state and federal agencies to report more information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, also known as NICS. cleveland.com, "Sen. Rob Portman unsure Congress will address gun violence before 2020 election," 21 Aug. 2019 The Hugos themselves, along with the broader culture of speculative fiction, have been undergoing a decade-long period of progressive reform to be more inclusive and diverse that neatly coincides with the rise of AO3. Aja Romano, Vox, "4.7 million fanfics are now Hugo winners, thanks to AO3 and the transformative culture that built it.," 19 Aug. 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.

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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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Statistics for reform

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for reform

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

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More Definitions for reform

reform

verb
How to pronounce re-form (audio)

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
How to pronounce re-form (audio)

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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