English

Definition of reform verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    reform

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//rɪˈfɔːm//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈfɔːrm//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they reform
    BrE BrE//rɪˈfɔːm//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈfɔːrm//
     
    he / she / it reforms
    BrE BrE//rɪˈfɔːmz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈfɔːrmz//
     
    past simple reformed
    BrE BrE//rɪˈfɔːmd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈfɔːrmd//
     
    past participle reformed
    BrE BrE//rɪˈfɔːmd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈfɔːrmd//
     
    -ing form reforming
    BrE BrE//rɪˈfɔːmɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈfɔːrmɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [transitive] reform something to improve a system, an organization, a law, etc. by making changes to it proposals to reform the social security system The law needs to be reformed. a reforming administration
  2. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to improve your behaviour; to make somebody do this He has promised to reform. reform somebody She thought she could reform him.
  3. Word 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 cent.Extra examples The education system must be radically reformed. the near impossibility of truly reforming the system There are proposals to reform the welfare system. a reformed character/​alcoholic
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: reform