[ ref-er-mey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for reformation on
  1. the act of changing to a better state or character, way of operating, lifestyle, etc.; the correction of abuses and bad habits or practices: Last year the team underwent a reformation under the direction of a new head coach.The reformation of the justice system in that country is long overdue.

  2. an improved state or way of functioning that results from the correction of abuses and bad habits or practices: The gambler's so-called reformation lasted exactly one month.

  1. the Reformation, Church History. the 16th-century movement that began with the objective of correcting theology and practice in the Roman Catholic Church and that ultimately led to the establishment of the Protestant churches.

Origin of reformation

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English reformacion, from Latin refōrmātiōn-, stem of refōrmātiō, from refōrmāt(us) “reformed” (past participle of refōrmāre “to form again”; see reform) + -iō -ion

Other words for reformation

Other words from reformation

  • ref·or·ma·tion·al, adjective
  • non·ref·or·ma·tion, noun
  • non·ref·or·ma·tion·al, adjective
  • post-Ref·or·ma·tion, noun
  • pre-Ref·or·ma·tion, noun
  • pre·ref·or·ma·tion, adjective
  • self-ref·or·ma·tion, noun
  • su·per·ref·or·ma·tion, noun

Words Nearby reformation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use reformation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for reformation (1 of 2)


/ (ˌrɛfəˈmeɪʃən) /

  1. the act or an instance of reforming or the state of being reformed

Derived forms of reformation

  • reformational, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for Reformation (2 of 2)


/ (ˌrɛfəˈmeɪʃən) /

  1. 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

Cultural definitions for Reformation


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.