Definition of reform in English:

reform

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.

    ‘the Bill will reform the tax system’
    • ‘As Mr Pope rightly says, it's time the eccentric and discriminatory system was radically reformed.’
    • ‘Its aim was to help such countries to acquire technology and sustainability by reforming their institutions and improving their competitiveness.’
    • ‘The government's plan to reform the subsidy system is running into fierce opposition.’
    • ‘And it will continue to fail until Congress fundamentally reforms the law.’
    • ‘Our aim is to reform our institutions and develop them into excellent ones.’
    • ‘There can be absolutely no excuse for the government to avoid reforming these corrupt institutions.’
    • ‘This is the backdrop against which we consider reforming Canada's political institutions for the twenty-first century.’
    • ‘By the time McLeish was 24, local government was being radically reformed.’
    • ‘What about reforming religious institutions?’
    • ‘Patrick Mulvaney mentions some excellent ways of reforming US elections.’
    • ‘A Westcliff security company has embarked on a campaign to reform working practices in the security business.’
    • ‘Before the Findlay decision was given in Strasbourg, the British government had in fact sought and obtained legislation in Parliament to reform the court martial system.’
    • ‘Consequently, reforming institutions of the federal government to accommodate western concerns may indeed help cure this problem.’
    • ‘There was no real attempt to fundamentally reform or abandon the central planning process itself.’
    • ‘So I don't think you can reform educational institutions in radical ways, except in the wake of a revolution.’
    • ‘She set out to reform the economy which she did with great success.’
    • ‘This means not only refurbishing existing institutions, reforming committees and the like, but building new political sites.’
    • ‘He called for proper funding to be put in place for hospitals, schools and local services but felt that a great opportunity to reform local government had been lost.’
    • ‘The system had to be radically reformed to detect murder, medical error and neglect.’
    • ‘Does he not know that the CAP has just been drastically reformed?’
    improve, make better, better, ameliorate, refine, mend, rectify, correct, rehabilitate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Cause (someone) to relinquish an immoral, criminal, or self-destructive lifestyle.
      ‘the state has a duty to reform criminals’
      ‘I'm considered a reformed character these days’
      • ‘I'm not really sure myself because I guess in a perfect world people would go to prison and come out a new, reformed person who would never commit a crime again.’
      • ‘We have Raymond Chandler and James M Cain, reformed junkie James Ellroy and reformed bank-robber Edward Bunker among many others.’
      • ‘It's a semi-auto biographical novel about a cop, Detective chief Inspector Jack Priestley, and his best friend, reformed criminal Steve Blade.’
      • ‘In theory the parole hearings take the behaviour of the offender into account and allow reformed prisoners out before unrepentant ones.’
      • ‘Maybe then the juveniles will be coming out of detention as reformed people, not as crime masterminds!’
      • ‘I'm a completely reformed character these days, with a wife and two-year-old son.’
      • ‘They took it in turns to visit the prison each day and to read from the Bible, believing that hearing the Bible had the power to reform people.’
      • ‘I made many resolutions to reform my personality, but never quite got round to it.’
      • ‘He could understand the community's concern but believed his son was reformed and no longer a threat to society.’
      • ‘Finance Minister Tom McCabe, the man who persuaded McConnell to adopt last month's smoking ban, is a similarly reformed character, whose jogging rivals Kerr's.’
      • ‘They are all reformed criminals - drug dealers, pickpockets, and thieves who have agreed to go straight and earn their money honestly.’
      • ‘There is definitely enough money to set up institutions to reform people who are criminals.’
      • ‘Mr Kennedy rejected putting retribution to satisfy the victims of crime above reforming criminals.’
      • ‘Judges and magistrates in the Doncaster area have been told to stop using a new style of sentencing aimed at reforming drug-addicted criminals because the initiative has run out of funding.’
      • ‘So amazing, in fact, that this newly reformed cynic is ready to write a check.’
      • ‘It's amazing the number of supposedly reformed criminals who have put money into pubs.’
      • ‘Lord Coulsfield said Custody Plus sentences had ‘little or no value’ in deterring or reforming criminals.’
      • ‘Before your mother reformed me that might have been my typical weekly shop.’
      • ‘Clarke at one time embraced the EU federalist cause I believe: I think he is now a better informed, and indeed reformed politician because of that.’
      • ‘Is it more important than reforming our criminals?’
    2. 1.2[no object]Relinquish an immoral, criminal, or self-destructive lifestyle.
      ‘it was only when his drunken behaviour led to blows that he started to reform’
      • ‘In the end he reforms, because - to put it in Madonna terms - ‘efforts are made.’’
      • ‘And the Grinch is so much fun when he's bad, it's something of a disappointment when he reforms, realising along with the rest of Whoville that Christmas is about more than spending money.’
      • ‘The death row inmate says that he's reformed and his supporters believe he deserves clemency.’
      • ‘I do not believe in the criminal's ability to reform, or their ability to name negative life factors as being a contributory factor to their crime.’
  • 2Chemistry
    Subject (hydrocarbons) to a catalytic process in which straight-chain molecules are converted to branched forms for use as petrol.

    • ‘Most fuel cells on the market combine atmospheric oxygen with hydrogen generated by reforming methanol or methane to make electricity, with water as a byproduct.’
    • ‘The tank of this SUV is filled with methanol from which hydrogen is reformed on board the vehicle.’
    • ‘For example, hydrogen is made via electrolysis or by reforming hydrocarbons, and both methods take a lot of electricity - most of which comes from burning fossil fuels.’
    • ‘The most polluting methods are the ones that rely on reforming hydrocarbons inside the car.’
    • ‘To be useful in a power-generating fuel cell, hydrocarbons such as gasoline, natural gas or ethanol must be reformed into a hydrogen-rich gas.’

noun

  • [mass noun] The action or process of reforming an institution or practice.

    ‘the reform of the divorce laws’
    [count noun] ‘economic reforms’
    • ‘Sugar beet growers in Yorkshire were urged yesterday to lobby their MPs in a bid to water down reforms that could put thousands of jobs in the UK at risk.’
    • ‘I want many changes though, starting with further reforms to agricultural policy, an end to secrecy, and a curb on the centralising tendency of the institutions in Brussels.’
    • ‘If we want continued economic success we must continue the process of economic reform.’
    • ‘So the developing countries, the main beneficiaries of US largesse, are digging in against other UN reforms unless they get the extra cash.’
    • ‘Arguably its most radical commitment was to constitutional reform.’
    • ‘Why not postpone the constitutional debate for a decade and concentrate on economic reform?’
    • ‘Trying to keep the ailing system going another generation will wind up costing taxpayers far, far more than making reforms today.’
    • ‘Mr Prescott also used today's speech to announce sweeping housing reforms to tackle rogue landlords and reform the right to buy.’
    • ‘Most of the air security reforms Robert Poole recommends are intelligent and well taken.’
    • ‘In thinking about reforms, it is important to have a sense of the problems we aim to address, and some possible ways of addressing them.’
    • ‘I am generally in favor of orienting the country toward market reforms, but China's development must be more equal, more balanced.’
    • ‘To rise to these global challenges we have this week announced the next stage in our competitiveness reforms.’
    • ‘Do you believe that constitutional reform is needed to rectify the situation?’
    • ‘He always presented reforms as a necessary evil.’
    • ‘For example, it has linked economic reform and structural adjustment to what it has termed good governance.’
    • ‘The process of economic reform had inevitably increased individual autonomy.’
    • ‘But all reforms so far discussed can only make things worse.’
    • ‘Despite some tough reforms, no one is able to guess at the cost of widespread military corruption and incompetence.’
    • ‘President Fox told reporters in Brazil that Mexico wants the United States to introduce immigration reforms as quickly as possible.’
    • ‘In this case constitutional reform or more representative institutions are undesirable, since they are as likely to impede as to accelerate modernisation.’
    improvement, betterment, amelioration, refinement, rectification, correction, rehabilitation
    alteration, change, adjustment, adaptation, amendment, revision, recasting, reshaping, refashioning, redesigning, restyling, revamp, revamping, renovation, reworking, redoing, remake, rebuilding, reconstruction, remodelling, makeover, remoulding, reorganizing, reorganization, reorienting, reorientation, transformation, conversion
    customizing, tailoring
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English (as a verb in the senses ‘restore (peace)’ and ‘bring back to the original condition’): from Old French reformer or Latin reformare, from re- back + formare to form, shape. The noun dates from the mid 17th century.

Pronunciation:

reform

/rɪˈfɔːm/