Synonyms & Antonyms of reform

(Entry 1 of 2)



Synonyms & Antonyms of reform (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to make better in behavior or character
  • volunteers at a sanctuary that tries to reform dogs with behavior problems

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2 to change one's behavior or character for the better
  • a man who's been trying to reform ever since he got fired for missing too many days of work

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3 to remove errors, defects, deficiencies, or deviations from
  • he had better reform his ways if he wants any of us to trust him

Synonyms for reform

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Frequently Asked Questions About reform

How does the verb reform differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of reform are amend, correct, emend, rectify, redress, remedy, and revise. While all these words mean "to make right what is wrong," reform implies drastic change.

plans to reform the court system

How does the word amend relate to other synonyms for reform?

Amend, reform, and revise imply an improving by making corrective changes, amend usually suggesting slight changes.

amend a law

When is it sensible to use correct instead of reform?

The meanings of correct and reform largely overlap; however, correct implies taking action to remove errors, faults, deviations, defects.

correct your spelling

Where would emend be a reasonable alternative to reform?

Although the words emend and reform have much in common, emend specifically implies correction of a text or manuscript.

emend a text

When is rectify a more appropriate choice than reform?

While in some cases nearly identical to reform, rectify implies a more essential changing to make something right, just, or properly controlled or directed.

rectify a misguided policy

When would redress be a good substitute for reform?

The words redress and reform are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, redress implies making compensation or reparation for an unfairness, injustice, or imbalance.

redress past social injustices

When can remedy be used instead of reform?

While the synonyms remedy and reform are close in meaning, remedy implies removing or making harmless a cause of trouble, harm, or evil.

set out to remedy the evils of the world

When might revise be a better fit than reform?

The synonyms revise and reform are sometimes interchangeable, but revise suggests a careful examination of something and the making of necessary changes.

revise the schedule

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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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Cite this Entry

“Reform.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on reform

Nglish: Translation of reform for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reform for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about reform


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