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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But as Europe tries to reform itself, the American President fails to step up. Samir Puri, WSJ, 30 Mar. 2022 Those who try to reform it from within often get swept aside. Arielle Pardes, Wired, 11 Mar. 2022 Similarly, her voice doesn’t bother with the familiar mournful trappings of most protest singers — listening to her curt, firm delivery is more likely to elicit exasperation with the entire human endeavor than a desire to reform it. Joe Lynch, Billboard, 29 Dec. 2021 European Union rules governing migrants are outdated and unworkable, but the EU has been reluctant to reform them for fear of stirring up divisions amongst member states and xenophobic extremism in their electorates. The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Dec. 2021 Haugen has testified before Congress and in the United Kingdom Parliament, saying that Facebook is fundamentally unable to reform itself from within. BostonGlobe.com, 5 Nov. 2021 Haugen has testified before Congress and in the United Kingdom Parliament, saying that Facebook is fundamentally unable to reform itself from within. Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2021 Years ago, Mikhail Gorbachev brought about the dissolution of the Soviet Union while trying to reform it. The Week Staff, The Week, 2 Oct. 2021 As the United States was distracted by multiple wars, Britain gambled its future on a referendum to leave the European Union and France failed to reform itself, Ms. Merkel’s Germany was mostly a haven of stability. New York Times, 26 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Among the losing candidates was Paul Draper, who ran a campaign rooted in reform. Daniel Millerstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2022 More than 16 months after Congress approved a framework to reform thoroughbred racing, the structure is finally taking shape. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 3 May 2022 Public and collegiate educational system reform is needed. Anchorage Daily News, 3 May 2022 My perspective as a minority is significant given the racial and social climate today, as our communities are demanding racial, social, and criminal justice reform. oregonlive, 2 May 2022 Asians comprise a significant portion of immigrants in the US but they are often overlooked in the debate over immigration reform. Nicole Chavez And Priya Krishnakumar, CNN, 1 May 2022 Although the bill signed by Newsom allows an exception for the university, a larger reform of C.E.Q.A. has been put off. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 28 Apr. 2022 The resulting laws impacted issues ranging from welfare reform to tax cuts. Daedan Olander, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 Republicans accused reform proponents of partisan and racial attacks against Justice Thomas. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Under Mullins’ nearly two decades of leadership, the union has fought for better pay — with contracts resulting in pay increases of 40% — and staked a prominent position in the anti-reform movement. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Oct. 2021 The initial results also showed that pro-reform candidates who emerged from the 2019 protests had gained several seats in the 329-member parliament. Reuters, CNN, 12 Oct. 2021 The initial results also showed that pro-reform candidates who emerged from the 2019 protests had gained several seats in the 329-member parliament. NBC News, 12 Oct. 2021 Under Mullins’ nearly two decades of leadership, the union has fought for better pay – with contracts resulting in pay increases of 40% – and staked a prominent position in the anti-reform movement. Michael R. Sisak, USA TODAY, 5 Oct. 2021 The pugilistic rhetoric sheds light on where the post-reform coalition education debate will lead. Kathryn Joyce, The New Republic, 30 Sep. 2021 Her anti-reform message plays well to a base of very reliable voters — older, whiter, more conservative. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Sep. 2021 Sandu, a former prime minister who used to lead the pro-reform Party of Action and Solidarity, or PAS, promised to clean up corruption, fight poverty and strengthen relations with the EU. Corneliu Rusnac And Stephen Mcgrath, Star Tribune, 11 July 2021 The interview was conducted by Saeed Leylaz, an economist and journalist who was an adviser to Mohammad Khatami, a pro-reform cleric who served two terms as Iran’s president. Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near reform

reforge

reform

re-form

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Statistics for reform

Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reform.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reform. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for reform

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

reform

transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on reform

Nglish: Translation of reform for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reform for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about reform

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