com·​pli·​ance | \ kəm-ˈplī-ən(t)s How to pronounce compliance (audio) \

Definition of compliance

1a : the act or process of complying to a desire, demand, proposal, or regimen or to coercion Patient compliance in completing the treatment regimens was excellent.— Georgia A. Chrousos
b : conformity in fulfilling official requirements His actions were in compliance with state law.
2 : a disposition to yield to others
3 : the ability of an object to yield elastically when a force is applied : flexibility

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of compliance in a Sentence

She was rewarded for her compliance. There has been a low rate of compliance with the new law.
Recent Examples on the Web The sheriff said his deputies will urge voluntary compliance rather than use aggressive enforcement. Washington Post, "California governor: Wear masks, avoid July 4th gatherings," 3 July 2020 Markus Braun, the chief executive, worked around the clock with the electronic-payments giant’s top executives to chart a response, fast tracking the start date of a new chief compliance officer to reassure investors.... Bradley Hope, WSJ, "Wirecard’s Adventure-Seeking No. 2 Was Key to the Firm’s Rapid Rise. Then He Disappeared.," 3 July 2020 Any business that comes into compliance up to that point will not risk a citation, Corvin said. oregonlive, "Who is enforcing Oregon’s statewide mandatory mask rules? That depends," 1 July 2020 The internship program would place more people of color in departments ranging from media relations to compliance and management. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "As conversations about racial inequality grow, Black head coaches continue to be overlooked," 30 June 2020 Consuming alcohol reduces inhibitions that leads to less compliance with wearing masks and keeping apart, health officials warn. Sharon Bernstein And Lisa Shumaker, The Christian Science Monitor, "California joins Texas and Florida in reversing reopening," 28 June 2020 Public health officials cited bars as a location where alcohol consumption impairs judgement, leading to less compliance with safety measures such as social distancing and wearing face coverings. Alexei Koseff,, "Newsom orders bars closed in California counties with coronavirus spread," 28 June 2020 Those that aren’t will be advised on how to bring themselves into compliance, and those that still aren’t complying will risk consequences that might include suspension of their ability to remain open. David Jacobs, Washington Examiner, "Edwards: Louisiana not ready to loosen COVID-19 restrictions," 23 June 2020 In the age of COVID, all manner of refits and deep-cleans are required to bring the office into virus-proof compliance. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Global markets turn choppy as investors weigh the threat of a second wave," 22 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compliance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of compliance

circa 1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for compliance

see comply

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about compliance

Time Traveler for compliance

Time Traveler

The first known use of compliance was circa 1630

See more words from the same year

Statistics for compliance

Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Compliance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for compliance


How to pronounce compliance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of compliance

formal : the act or process of doing what you have been asked or ordered to do : the act or process of complying


com·​pli·​ance | \ kəm-ˈplī-ən(t)s How to pronounce compliance (audio) \

Medical Definition of compliance

1 : the ability or process of yielding to changes in pressure without disruption of structure or function a study of pulmonary compliance the tone of colonic muscle as judged by compliance of the gut wall— S. C. Truelove
2 : the process of complying with a regimen of treatment simplified drug regimens may encourage better compliance


com·​pli·​ance | \ kəm-ˈplī-əns How to pronounce compliance (audio) \

Legal Definition of compliance

1 : an act or process of complying with a demand or recommendation
2 : observance of official requirements

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on compliance

What made you want to look up compliance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!