from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A penal institution for the discipline, reformation, and training of young or first offenders. Also called reform school.
  • adj. Reformative.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or conducive to reform; reformative.
  • n. A prison, especially one for juveniles; a reform school.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Tending to produce reformation; reformative.
  • n. An institution for promoting the reformation of offenders.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having a tendency to reform or renovate; reformative.
  • n. An institution for the reception and reformation of youths who have already begun a career of vice or crime.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. tending to reform
  • n. correctional institution for the detention and discipline and training of young or first offenders


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • This idea of the United Nations as a reformatory is an illusion.

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  • Miss Susan B. Anthony, a well-known, indefatigable, and lifelong advocate of temperance, anti-slavery, and woman's rights, has been, since 1851, Mrs. Stanton's intimate associate in reformatory labors.

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  • And he was sent to the Oklahoma state reformatory, which is within my jurisdiction.

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  • But the reformatory was a horse of a totally different color.


  • But at this so-called reformatory 59 occupations were represented by the inmates,

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  • He recalled the reformatory -- and also what to him was the most awful thing he had ever heard about the State penitentiary -- they never saw the sun rise down there, and they never saw it set.

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  • Reformation in individual cases may take place under the most adverse circumstances; but an institution cannot be called reformatory unless its prevailing moral sentiment is actively, vigorously, and always, on the side of progress and virtue.

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  • The report said there were 215 corrections officers for 780 inmates at the reformatory, which is considered adequate staff.

    The Seattle Times

  • How about a sting at your daughter's high school, with a year in some nasty reformatory, which is to say any reformatory, for those caught?

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  • This boy, seventeen years of age, was committed upon complaint of his mother, who supposed the reformatory was a school, and he could be released any time.

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