Definition of reformation in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌrefərˈmāSH(ə)n/


1The action or process of reforming an institution or practice: the reformation of the Senate
More example sentences
  • Many of them are committed Reformed Baptists, but even more are men at various stages in the process of reformation.
  • It was on his return to Uyaynah that he first began to preach his revolutionary ideas of religious reformation on fundamentalist lines.
  • The full reformation of Muslim politics awaited the great upheavals of the modern era.
2 (the Reformation) A 16th-century movement for the reform of abuses in the Roman Catholic Church ending in the establishment of the Reformed and Protestant Churches.

The roots of the Reformation go back to the 14th-century attacks on the wealth and hierarchy of the Church made by groups such as the Lollards and the Hussites. But the Reformation is usually thought of as beginning in 1517 when Martin Luther issued ninety-five theses criticizing Church doctrine and practice. In Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Saxony, Hesse, and Brandenburg, supporters broke away and established Protestant churches, while in Switzerland a separate movement was led by Zwingli and later Calvin.



Pronunciation: /ˌrefərˈmāSH(ə)n(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Kuyper's reformational worldview corresponds closely with my own and provides a foundation that I had been lacking.
  • Herein he defines ‘evangelical’ to cover a broad stream of conservative Protestantism including fundamentalism, reformational confessionalism and Pentecostalism.
  • The Hussite movement, originally religious and nationalist, culminated in 1419 when the Hussite forces defeated several armies sent to Bohemia by the pope to put an end to reformational ideology.


Late Middle English: from Latin reformatio(n-), from reformare 'shape again' (see reform).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ref·or·ma·tion

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.