Word Origin & History
c.1300, "to convert into another and better form," from O.Fr. reformer (12c.), from L. reformare "to form again, change, alter," from re- "again" + formare "to form." The noun is 1660s, from the verb. Meaning "to bring (a person) away from an evil course of life" is recorded from early 15c.; of governments,
institutions, etc., from early 15c. Reformed churches (1588) usually are Calvinist as opposed to Lutheran. Reformed Judaism (1843) is a movement initiated in Germany by Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786). Reformatory "house of correction for juveniles" first recorded 1834. Reform school is attested from 1859.