v. re·formed, re·form·ing, re·forms
1. To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition: reform the tax code.
a. To abolish abuse or malpractice in: reform the government.
b. To put an end to (an abuse or wrong).
3. To induce or persuade (a person) to give up harmful or immoral practices; cause to adopt a better way of life.
4. Chemistry To subject (hydrocarbons) to cracking.
To change for the better.
1. Action to improve or correct what is wrong or defective in something: health care reform.
2. An instance of this; an improvement: reforms in education.
1. Relating to or favoring reform: a reform candidate for mayor.
2. Reform Of or relating to Reform Judaism.
[Middle English reformen, from Old French reformer, from Latin refōrmāre : re-, re- + fōrmāre, to shape (from fōrma, form).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.