Definition of reform in English:

reform

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Make changes in (something, typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it.

    ‘an opportunity to reform and restructure an antiquated schooling model’
    • ‘By the time McLeish was 24, local government was being radically reformed.’
    • ‘So I don't think you can reform educational institutions in radical ways, except in the wake of a revolution.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Does he not know that the CAP has just been drastically reformed?’
    • ‘There was no real attempt to fundamentally reform or abandon the central planning process itself.’
    • ‘The system had to be radically reformed to detect murder, medical error and neglect.’
    • ‘She set out to reform the economy which she did with great success.’
    • ‘Patrick Mulvaney mentions some excellent ways of reforming US elections.’
    • ‘There can be absolutely no excuse for the government to avoid reforming these corrupt institutions.’
    • ‘Our aim is to reform our institutions and develop them into excellent ones.’
    • ‘Its aim was to help such countries to acquire technology and sustainability by reforming their institutions and improving their competitiveness.’
    • ‘As Mr Pope rightly says, it's time the eccentric and discriminatory system was radically reformed.’
    • ‘What about reforming religious institutions?’
    • ‘And it will continue to fail until Congress fundamentally reforms the law.’
    • ‘Consequently, reforming institutions of the federal government to accommodate western concerns may indeed help cure this problem.’
    • ‘This is the backdrop against which we consider reforming Canada's political institutions for the twenty-first century.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This means not only refurbishing existing institutions, reforming committees and the like, but building new political sites.’
    • ‘A Westcliff security company has embarked on a campaign to reform working practices in the security business.’
    • ‘The government's plan to reform the subsidy system is running into fierce opposition.’
    improve, make better, better, ameliorate, refine, mend, rectify, correct, rehabilitate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Bring about a change in (someone) so that they no longer behave in an immoral, criminal, or self-destructive manner.
      ‘the state has a duty to reform criminals’
      ‘a reformed gambler’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So amazing, in fact, that this newly reformed cynic is ready to write a check.’
      • ‘It's a semi-auto biographical novel about a cop, Detective chief Inspector Jack Priestley, and his best friend, reformed criminal Steve Blade.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's amazing the number of supposedly reformed criminals who have put money into pubs.’
      • ‘Before your mother reformed me that might have been my typical weekly shop.’
      • ‘In theory the parole hearings take the behaviour of the offender into account and allow reformed prisoners out before unrepentant ones.’
      • ‘Is it more important than reforming our criminals?’
      • ‘Maybe then the juveniles will be coming out of detention as reformed people, not as crime masterminds!’
      • ‘We have Raymond Chandler and James M Cain, reformed junkie James Ellroy and reformed bank-robber Edward Bunker among many others.’
      • ‘Lord Coulsfield said Custody Plus sentences had ‘little or no value’ in deterring or reforming criminals.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He could understand the community's concern but believed his son was reformed and no longer a threat to society.’
      • ‘I'm a completely reformed character these days, with a wife and two-year-old son.’
      • ‘I made many resolutions to reform my personality, but never quite got round to it.’
      • ‘They are all reformed criminals - drug dealers, pickpockets, and thieves who have agreed to go straight and earn their money honestly.’
    2. 1.2[no object](of a person) change oneself for the better.
      ‘it was only when his drunken behavior led to blows that he started to reform’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the end he reforms, because - to put it in Madonna terms - ‘efforts are made.’’
      • ‘The death row inmate says that he's reformed and his supporters believe he deserves clemency.’
  • 2Chemistry
    Subject (hydrocarbons) to a catalytic process in which straight-chain molecules are converted to branched forms for use in gasoline.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The most polluting methods are the ones that rely on reforming hydrocarbons inside the car.’
    • ‘The tank of this SUV is filled with methanol from which hydrogen is reformed on board the vehicle.’

noun

  • The action or process of reforming an institution or practice.

    ‘the reform of the divorce laws’
    [count noun] ‘economic reforms’
    • ‘He always presented reforms as a necessary evil.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Why not postpone the constitutional debate for a decade and concentrate on economic reform?’
    • ‘If we want continued economic success we must continue the process of economic reform.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Do you believe that constitutional reform is needed to rectify the situation?’
    • ‘Trying to keep the ailing system going another generation will wind up costing taxpayers far, far more than making reforms today.’
    • ‘To rise to these global challenges we have this week announced the next stage in our competitiveness reforms.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So the developing countries, the main beneficiaries of US largesse, are digging in against other UN reforms unless they get the extra cash.’
    • ‘Mr Prescott also used today's speech to announce sweeping housing reforms to tackle rogue landlords and reform the right to buy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Most of the air security reforms Robert Poole recommends are intelligent and well taken.’
    • ‘Arguably its most radical commitment was to constitutional reform.’
    • ‘The process of economic reform had inevitably increased individual autonomy.’
    • ‘For example, it has linked economic reform and structural adjustment to what it has termed good governance.’
    • ‘I am generally in favor of orienting the country toward market reforms, but China's development must be more equal, more balanced.’
    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

adjective

  • Of, denoting, or pertaining to Reform Judaism.

    ‘a Reform rabbi’
    • ‘I taught in most of the Reform Synagogues in Manhattan and I was also a principal in a Reform Hebrew School.’
    • ‘Before becoming affiliated with a Reform Temple, I was a Messianic Jew, quote/unquote.’
    • ‘In many ways, this is a continuation of Reform's historical commitment to free inquiry.’
    • ‘Her mother, ecstatic, planned a wedding in their Reform temple for a Sunday afternoon in July.’
    • ‘Some Reform rabbis have had a great impact on national life in recent times.’
    • ‘We have six rabbis who are involved: three Orthodox, two Conservative, and one Reform.’
    • ‘Do you see a connection between your vision of Judaism and the early Reform movement?’
    • ‘You certainly don't need to be Jewish to be Reform or Orthodox.’
    • ‘There's a whole host of sociological reasons for this but in my opinion, the Reform denomination has been to blame.’
    • ‘Roughly one-third of Tenafly is Jewish, mostly Reform or Conservative.’
    • ‘Sephardic liturgy has an essential beauty and to me Reform is church-like - it's not genuine.’
    • ‘At any rate, Gamaliel's liturgy has determined the form and much of the content of Jewish prayer, Reform as well as Orthodox, to the present day.’
    • ‘He migrated to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he headed up a Reform congregation.’
    • ‘In spite of everything, they're marrying this March, in a Jewish ceremony by a Reform rabbi.’
    • ‘This includes the Reform form of Judaism, as typified by Moses Mendelssohn.’
    • ‘The Jews who have left the Orthodox synagogue for the Reform and Conservative movements have made similar choices.’

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

/rəˈfôrm/