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[ref-er-mey-shuh n] /ˌrɛf ərˈmeɪ ʃən/
the act of reforming; state of being reformed.
(initial capital letter) the religious movement in the 16th century that had for its object the reform of the Roman Catholic Church, and that led to the establishment of the Protestant churches.
Origin of reformation
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English reformacion < Latin refōrmātiōn- (stem of refōrmātiō), equivalent to refōrmāt(us) (past participle of refōrmāre to reform) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
reformational, adjective
nonreformation, noun
nonreformational, adjective
post-Reformation, noun
pre-Reformation, noun
prereformation, adjective
self-reformation, noun
superreformation, noun
1. improvement, betterment, correction, reform. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for post-reformation
Historical Examples
  • The hideous monstrosities of post-reformation times did not then disfigure our churches.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • Some of these post-reformation vessels are extremely interesting.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • Of other rectors of the post-reformation period we know little or nothing.

    The Church of Grasmere Mary L. Armitt
  • Nearly all are post-reformation—a fact which speaks for itself.

    Chats on Military Curios Stanley C. Johnson
  • But the post-reformation dogmatists took fright at their own freedom.

  • He was the link that united English pre-Reformation and post-reformation music.

  • The subject naturally divides itself into two parts—(a) The pre-reformation period, (b) The post-reformation period.

    Some Jewish Witnesses For Christ Rev. A. Bernstein, B.D.
  • This library at present contains several hundred volumes of ancient (patristic, scholastic, and post-reformation) divinity.

  • In post-reformation times he continued his career without losing his rank or status, his dignity or usefulness.

    The Parish Clerk (1907) Peter Hampson Ditchfield
  • Discussion of post-reformation fasting, however, or fasting in general, forms no part of our present undertaking.

British Dictionary definitions for post-reformation


happening or existing in the period or age after the Reformation


the act or an instance of reforming or the state of being reformed
Derived Forms
reformational, adjective


a religious and political movement of 16th-century Europe that began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the establishment of the Protestant Churches
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for post-reformation



"improvement, alteration for the better," late 14c., "restoration;" mid-15c., "improvement," from Old French reformacion and directly from Latin reformationem (nominative reformatio), noun of action from past participle stem of reformare (see reform (v.)). In reference to the European religious movement, it is attested by 1540s, borrowed from Luther. The movement began as a bid to reform doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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post-reformation in Culture

Reformation definition

A religious movement in the sixteenth century that began as an attempted reform of the Roman Catholic Church but resulted in the founding of Protestant churches separate from it. Some of the leaders of the Reformation were Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox. The Reformation was established in England after King Henry VIII declared himself head of the Christian Church in that country.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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