Definition of reformatory in English:


Line breaks: re|forma|tory
Pronunciation: /rɪˈfɔːmət(ə)ri

noun (plural reformatories)

archaic or North American dated
  • An institution to which young offenders are sent as an alternative to prison.
    More example sentences
    • Smith's workshops on songwriting, vocals and harmonica take him throughout his home state of Victoria and the rest of the country, into schools, prisons, reformatories, music stores - and ABC studios.
    • So too were there special prisons for juveniles - sometimes in hulks, as in Sydney's Sobraon and Vernon - while the construction of special reformatories and prison farms proceeded well into the twentieth century.
    • Given that he has spent much of his life in reformatories and prisons, he is, we're led to believe, somewhat naive about the outside world.


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  • Tending or intended to produce reform.
    More example sentences
    • They emphasised the need for taking urgent reformatory steps against the fast growing social evils.
    • Previously only those who suffered abuse in industrial schools, reformatory schools, orphanages and children's homes for which public bodies had supervisory or inspection functions were included.
    • In 1930 the then Department of Education produced a 200-plus page report, but only eight pages referred to industrial and reformatory schools.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody