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reform

[ri-fawrm]
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noun
  1. the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc.: social reform; spelling reform.
  2. an instance of this.
  3. the amendment of conduct, belief, etc.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to change to a better state, form, etc.; improve by alteration, substitution, abolition, etc.
  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.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to abandon evil conduct or error: The drunkard promised to reform.
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adjective
  1. (initial capital letter) of, relating to, or characteristic of Reform Jews or Reform Judaism: a Reform rabbi.
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Origin of reform

1300–50; (v.) Middle English reformen < Middle French reformer, Old French < Latin refōrmāre (see re-, form); (noun) partly derivative of the v., partly < French réforme
Related formsre·form·a·ble, adjectivere·form·a·bil·i·ty, re·form·a·ble·ness, nounre·form·a·tive, adjectivere·form·a·tive·ly, adverbre·form·a·tive·ness, nounre·form·ing·ly, adverban·ti·re·form, adjectivemis·re·form, verbpre·re·form, adjectivepro·re·form, adjectiveself-re·form, nounsu·per·re·form, noun, verb (used with object)un·re·form·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·form·a·tive, adjective
Can be confusedre-form reform

Synonyms

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Antonyms

re-form

[ree-fawrm]
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to form again.
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Origin of re-form

1300–50; Middle English; orig. identical with reform
Related formsre-for·ma·tion, nounre-form·er, noun
Can be confusedre-form reform
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for reform

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • This was in part owing to the readjustment of seats according to the Reform Bill.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • With the year 1869 Mr. Gladstone entered upon a great period of Reform.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • He told her that certain responsibilities were hers, but that she could not reform the world.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Many were the efforts to reform the abuses which crept into the monastic houses.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • The book was timely and told efficiently on the reform in this country.


British Dictionary definitions for reform

reform

verb
  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
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noun
  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 Formsreformable, adjectivereformative, adjectivereformer, noun

Word Origin

C14: via Old French from Latin reformāre to form again

re-form

verb
  1. to form anew
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Derived Formsre-formation, noun
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

Word Origin and History for reform

v.

c.1300, "to convert into another and better form," from Old French reformer "rebuild, reconstruct, recreate" (12c.), from Latin reformare "to form again, change, transform, alter," from re- "again" (see re-) + formare "to form" (see form (n.)). Intransitive sense from 1580s.

Meaning "to bring (a person) away from an evil course of life" is recorded from early 15c.; of governments, institutions, etc., from early 15c. Related: Reformed; reforming. Reformed churches (1580s) usually are Calvinist as opposed to Lutheran. Reformed Judaism (1843) is a movement initiated in Germany by Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786). Reform school is attested from 1859.

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n.

"any proceeding which brings back a better order of things," 1660s, from reform (v.) and in some uses from French réforme. As a branch of Judaism from 1843.

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re-form

v.

"form again," mid-14c., from re- + form (v.). Related: Re-formed; re-forming; re-formation.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper