View synonyms for reform


[ ri-fawrm ]


  1. the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc.:

    social reform; spelling reform.

    Synonyms: amelioration, betterment, reformation, correction

    Antonyms: deterioration

  2. an instance of this.
  3. the amendment of conduct, belief, etc.

verb (used with object)

  1. to change to a better state, form, etc.; improve by alteration, substitution, abolition, etc.

    Synonyms: restore, repair, ameliorate, emend, amend, correct, rectify, better

  2. to cause (a person) to abandon wrong or evil ways of life or conduct.
  3. to put an end to (abuses, disorders, etc.).
  4. Chemistry. to subject to the process of reforming, as in refining petroleum.

verb (used without object)

  1. to abandon evil conduct or error:

    The drunkard promised to reform.


  1. (initial capital letter) of, relating to, or characteristic of Reform Jews or Reform Judaism:

    a Reform rabbi.


/ rɪˈfɔːm /


  1. tr to improve (an existing institution, law, practice, etc) by alteration or correction of abuses
  2. to give up or cause to give up a reprehensible habit or immoral way of life
  3. chem to change the molecular structure of (a hydrocarbon) to make it suitable for use as petrol by heat, pressure, and the action of catalysts


  1. an improvement or change for the better, esp as a result of correction of legal or political abuses or malpractices
  2. a principle, campaign, or measure aimed at achieving such change
  3. improvement of morals or behaviour, esp by giving up some vice

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Derived Forms

  • reˈformable, adjective
  • reˈformative, adjective
  • reˈformer, noun

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Other Words From

  • re·forma·ble adjective
  • re·forma·bili·ty re·forma·ble·ness noun
  • re·forma·tive adjective
  • re·forma·tive·ly adverb
  • re·forma·tive·ness noun
  • re·forming·ly adverb
  • anti·re·form adjective
  • misre·form verb
  • prere·form adjective
  • prore·form adjective
  • self-re·form noun
  • super·re·form noun verb (used with object)
  • unre·forma·ble adjective
  • unre·forma·tive adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of reform1

First recorded in 1300–50; (for the verb) Middle English reformen, from Middle French reformer, Old French, from Latin refōrmāre; equivalent to re- + form; noun derivative of the verb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of reform1

C14: via Old French from Latin reformāre to form again

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Example Sentences

Some lawmakers, including presidential candidate Joe Biden, have suggested that the way forward on police reform is to help improve relations between the community and police by increasing the number of positive interactions between the two groups.

From Vox

Setting far more fires will require sweeping regulatory reforms to streamline the approvals process.

San Diego County also threw its support Tuesday behind a November ballot measure that asks Californians to undo several criminal justice reforms passed by voters over the last decade.

It’s part of American tradition, but we need to get to a suite of solutions to deal with police reform.

From Ozy

He said he spoke out about it to ProPublica because he opposes Medicare-for-all health care reform proposals.

But failing that, he advised pro-immigration reform Republican candidates such as former Gov. Jeb Bush to just skip the state.

There, many minority parents supported Tom Torklarson, who favored the education reform agenda.

It was a Republican Congress working with a Democratic president that succeeded in passing the welfare reform bill the first time.

Sometimes politicians oppose reform for nefarious reasons—to protect a special interest or a major donor, for example.

Sorkin may not have won his fight, ostensibly to reform the news.

He would impeach all his partners, acknowledge his errors, and promise once more to reform.

We may apply to it with advantage the spectacles of social reform, but what the socialist offers us is total blindness.

In its essential nature socialism is nothing but a proposal for certain kinds of economic reform.

One naturally asks, then, To what extent can social reform penetrate into the ordinary operation of industry itself?

The shortening of the general hours of work, then, should be among the primary aims of social reform.