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

Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses receives about three complaints a week about vacation rentals that are not in compliance with city regulations. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Denver attorney accused of violating short-term rental ordinance," 8 July 2019 Congress mandated the technology by the end of last year, but compliance has been spotty and the deadline has been extended. Gene Johnson, The Seattle Times, "Official blasts complacency before fatal 2017 train crash," 25 June 2019 Here’s the catch: Newsom, et al, characterize the charges for non-compliance as fees, rather than taxes, thus evading the two-thirds legislative votes needed for taxes. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: Budget decisions on safe water, health insurance defy logic," 13 June 2019 This proposal is a means to make the field as playable as possible given it is a drainage area and in compliance with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. Steve Schering,, "Park board approves synthetic turf plan for Keystone Park infields," 2 July 2019 The move is likely part of Facebook’s strategy to show regulators that is doing a good job policing its own service — putting it in compliance with existing anti-discrimination law — and doesn’t need a heavy-handed approach from lawmakers. Washington Post, "Facebook to make jobs, credit ads searchable," 30 June 2019 Northside officials are manually pulling the data for the 2017-2018 school year to make sure the district is in compliance, Perez said. Krista Torralva,, "Northside ISD says it restrained hundreds of students but software didn’t report it," 29 June 2019 On April 23, the boys’ parents filed a claim against the SID in compliance with the Tort Claims Act. Nick Sestanovich, The Mercury News, "New lawsuits claim ‘bypassed’ safety device to blame for electrocution of Two North Bay teens," 23 June 2019 Connecticut has the highest monitored ozone values in the eastern U.S. and the state has rarely been in compliance with ozone standards set by the EPA. Jan Ellen Spiegel,, "With air quality on the line, Connecticut is ready to fight new Trump power plan," 19 June 2019

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

Statistics for compliance

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for compliance

The first known use of compliance was circa 1630

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for compliance



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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

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!