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

In 2016, 20 automakers reached an agreement with the U.S. government to put automatic emergency braking on all new vehicles by September of 2022, but compliance is voluntary. Jamey Keaten, The Seattle Times, "40 countries agree cars must have automatic braking," 13 Feb. 2019 Federal law requires agencies to submit relevant records, but at the state level, compliance is voluntary unless mandated by state law or federal funding requirements. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Democrats Introduce Bill Expanding Background Checks on Gun Sales," 8 Jan. 2019 The protective order, set for one year, could be completed in six months if the Brills remain in compliance. Christian Boone, ajc, "Teen reunited with family after pot-smoking flap," 2 July 2018 In January, state officials had estimated that perhaps 264,000 would not be in compliance next month. Washington Post, "Kentucky’s requirement that Medicaid recipients must work is blocked by a federal judge," 29 June 2018 O’Connell said people who own older homes need every little bit of grass in order to stay in compliance. Rick Kambic,, "Libertyville reaches compromise on flood prevention zoning change," 18 June 2018 Intelligence agencies won't be the ones to make a conclusion about whether Kim is in compliance, but their work will help diplomats, officials and policymakers reach those decisions, or decide whether further inspections are needed. Jenna Mclaughlin, CNN, "Getting the deal is only half the Battle: US fears fact-checking Kim Jong Un post summit," 10 June 2018 Officials asked that the entire state be declared in compliance. Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "EPA dramatically narrows areas of Wisconsin that will face tougher regulations for smog," 1 May 2018 But Iran’s compliance is tenuous, and further belligerence from the US could give Tehran a reason to stop abiding by the deal’s limitations. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Trump’s tweet to Iran threatens a war that would in all likelihood be absolutely catastrophic.," 23 July 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.

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

10 May 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).


using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!