com·​pli·​ance | \kəm-ˈplī-ən(t)s \

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

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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

Bigger companies that can spend more on compliance are also being cautious. Daniel Castro, Fortune, "Why the GDPR Will Make Your Online Experience Worse," 23 May 2018 After all, leagues insist on integrity fees to offset their spending on compliance, monitoring and investigations connected to sports betting. Michael Mccann,, "How the Supreme Court's Sports Betting Ruling Affects Leagues, Players and Fans," 14 May 2018 Inspectors are sending out letters and relying on voluntary compliance from property owners and tenants to schedule the inspections and to allow them inside the properties, a spokeswoman said. Rachel Dissell, Brie Zeltner,, "City officials to answer questions on lead poisoning at City Council meeting," 22 Apr. 2018 The Department will also give plaintiffs a chance to propose revisions to a policy guide on compliance with the Handschu Guidelines, which govern how the police may investigate political and religious activity. Colin Moynihan, New York Times, "Last Suit Accusing N.Y.P.D. of Spying on Muslims Is Settled," 5 Apr. 2018 My compliance didn’t arise from a deep respect for the law so much as a desperate urge to avoid the grey vampire of bureaucracy. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Driving Without a Smartphone," 10 July 2018 The Schweikert campaign in December changed the company that oversees its compliance with campaign finance matters. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Rep. David Schweikert's chief of staff steps down amid ethics probe," 9 July 2018 The former monopoly is weighing which national watchdog to choose to oversee its compliance with EU data laws and want to make a decision this year. Emma Ross-thomas,, "Brexit Bulletin: The Threat of No Deal," 19 June 2018 Medicaid recipients would have to submit reports monthly about their compliance with the new rules, which also allow for the requirements to be met through school, vocational or job training, internships and community service. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan bill forces Medicaid recipients to work 80 hours per month," 7 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of compliance

circa 1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for compliance

see comply

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Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for compliance

The first known use of compliance was circa 1630

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English Language Learners Definition of compliance

: 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 \

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 \

Legal Definition of compliance 

1 : an act or process of complying with a demand or recommendation

2 : observance of official requirements

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Comments on compliance

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by force of circumstances

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