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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.

reform (n.)

"any proceeding which brings back a better order of things or attempts to improve the present," 1660s, from reform (v.) and in some uses from French réforme. The older word for this was reformation, but it had acquired a specialized sense. As a branch of Judaism from 1843.

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Definitions of reform from WordNet
1
reform (v.)
make changes for improvement in order to remove abuse and injustices;
reform a political system
reform (v.)
bring, lead, or force to abandon a wrong or evil course of life, conduct, and adopt a right one;
reform your conduct
The Church reformed me
Synonyms: reclaim / regenerate / rectify
reform (v.)
produce by cracking;
reform gas
reform (v.)
break up the molecules of;
reform oil
reform (v.)
improve by alteration or correction of errors or defects and put into a better condition;
reform the health system in this country
reform (v.)
change for the better;
The lazy student promised to reform
Synonyms: straighten out / see the light
2
reform (n.)
a change for the better as a result of correcting abuses;
justice was for sale before the reform of the law courts
reform (n.)
a campaign aimed to correct abuses or malpractices;
the reforms he proposed were too radical for the politicians
reform (n.)
self-improvement in behavior or morals by abandoning some vice;
the family rejoiced in the drunkard's reform
From wordnet.princeton.edu