Etymology
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deform (v.)
Origin and meaning of deform

c. 1400, deformen, difformen, "to disfigure, mar the natural form or shape of," from Old French deformer (13c.) and directly from Latin deformare "put out of shape, disfigure," from de (see de-) + formare "to shape, fashion, build," also figurative, from forma "form, contour, figure, shape" (see form (n.)). Related: Deformed; deforming.

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conformation (n.)

1510s, "act of adjusting or bringing into conformity," from Latin conformationem (nominative conformatio) "a symmetrical forming," noun of action from past participle stem of conformare "to fashion, to form, to shape; educate; modify," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + formare "to form" (see form (v.)). Meaning "manner in which a body is formed" is from 1640s.

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cuneiform (adj.)

1670s, "wedge-shaped," from French cunéiforme (16c.), from Latin cuneus "a wedge, wedge-shaped thing," which is of unknown origin, + French -forme (see form (n.)). German physician and traveler Engelbert Kämpfer (1681-1716) first applied the word to characters in ancient Middle Eastern inscriptions made with wedge-shaped writing tools; in English this sense is attested from 1818. As a noun, "cuneiform writing," by 1862.

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deformation (n.)

mid-15c., deformacioun, "transformation, act of changing the form of," from Old French deformation and directly from Latin deformationem (nominative deformatio), noun of action from past participle stem of deformare "put out of shape, disfigure," from de (see de-) + formare "to shape, fashion, build," also figurative, from forma "form, contour, figure, shape" (see form (n.)). Meaning "deformity, disfigurement, alteration for the worse" is from 1540s.

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inform (v.)
early 14c., "to train or instruct in some specific subject," from Old French informer, enformer "instruct, teach" (13c.) and directly from Latin informare "to shape, give form to, delineate," figuratively "train, instruct, educate," from in- "into" (from PIE root *en "in") + formare "to form, shape," from forma "form" (see form (n.)). In early use also enform until c. 1600. Sense of "report facts or news, communicate information to" first recorded late 14c. Related: Informed; informing.
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conformity (n.)

early 15c., conformyte, conformite, "similarity, correspondence in form or manner," from Old French conformité (14c.), from Late Latin conformitatem (nominative conformitas), from conformis "similar in shape," from conformare "to fashion, to form, to shape; educate; modify," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + formare "to form" (see form (v.)). Meaning "action in accordance with some standard" is from late 15c.; that of "adherence to the Church of England" is from 1620s. Modern spelling is from 17c.

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deformity (n.)

early 15c., diformyte, "condition of being deformed; physical malformation or distortion," especially "disproportionate or unnatural development of a part or parts," from Old French deformité "deformity, disfigurement" (Modern French difformité), from Latin deformitatem (nominative deformitas) "ugliness, hideousness, deformity," from deformis "misformed, misshapen," from deformare "put out of shape, disfigure," from de (see de-) + formare "to shape, fashion, build," also figurative, from forma "form, contour, figure, shape" (see form (n.)).

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reformation (n.)

late 14c., reformacioun, "restoration, re-establishment;" early 15c., "improvement, alteration for the better," from Old French reformacion and directly from Latin reformationem (nominative reformatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of reformare "to form again, change, transform, alter," from re- "again" (see re-) + formare "to form" (see form (n.)).

With capital R-, in reference to the great 16c. European religious revolution, it is attested by 1540s, borrowed from Luther. The movement began as a bid to "reform" doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome.

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conform (v.)

mid-14c., confourmen, "be obedient (to God), comply," from Old French conformer "conform (to), agree (to), make or be similar, be agreeable" (13c.) and directly from Latin conformare "to fashion, to form, to shape; educate; modify," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + formare "to form" (see form (v.)).

Meaning "to make of the same form or character; bring into harmony, make agreeable," and intransitive sense of "act in accordance with an example" are from late 14c. Sense of "to comply with the usages of the Church of England" is from 1610s; hence conformist (1630s), opposed to non-conformist or dissenter. Related: Conformance; conformed; conforming.

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reform (v.)

late 14c., reformen, "to convert into or restore to another and better form" (of strength, health, firmness, etc.), from Old French reformer "rebuild, reconstruct, recreate" (12c.) and directly from Latin reformare "to form again, change, transform, alter," from re- "again" (see re-) + formare "to form" (see form (n.)).

The meaning "change (someone or something) for the better, correct, improve; bring (someone) away from an evil course of life" is recorded from late 14c.; of governments, institutions, etc., from early 15c. Intransitive sense of "abandon wrongdoing or error" is by 1580s. Related: Reformed; reforming. Reformed churches (1580s) on the European continent were usually Calvinist as opposed to Lutheran (in France they were the Huguenots). Reformed Judaism (1843) is a movement initiated in Germany by Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786). Reform school is attested from 1859.

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