1. The act of reforming, or the state of being reformed; change from worse to better; correction or amendment of life, manners, or of anything vicious or corrupt; as, the reformation of manners; reformation of the age; reformation of abuses. Satire lashes vice into reformation. (Dryden)
2. Specifically, the important religious movement commenced by Luther early in the sixteenth century, which resulted in the formation of the various protestant churches.
Synonym: Reform, amendment, correction, rectification.
Reformation, Reform. Reformation is a more thorough and comprehensive change than reform. It is applied to subjects that are more important, and results in changes which are more lasting. A reformation involves, and is followed by, many particular reforms. The pagan converts mention this great reformation of those who had been the greatest sinners, with that sudden and surprising change which the Christian religion made in the lives of the most profligate. . A variety of schemes, founded in visionary and impracticable ideas of reform, were suddenly produced. .
Origin: F. Reformation, L. Reformatio.