com·​ply | \ kəm-ˈplī How to pronounce comply (audio) \
complied; complying

Definition of comply

intransitive verb

1 : to conform, submit, or adapt (as to a regulation or to another's wishes) as required or requested comply with federal law the devices comply with industry standards
2 obsolete : to be ceremoniously courteous

Examples of comply in a Sentence

I asked the waitress to refill my coffee cup and she happily complied. There will be penalties against individuals who fail to comply.

Recent Examples on the Web

And an effort by the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee to obtain Mr. Trump’s personal and business tax returns has already been redirected to federal court after the Treasury Department refused to comply with requests and subpoenas. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "House Holds Barr and Ross in Contempt Over Census Dispute," 17 July 2019 Cuyahoga County released surveillance video of the March 22 attack to last month, after refusing to comply with Ohio’s public records laws for months. Cory Shaffer,, "Lawyers for Cuyahoga County Jail guards charged with pummeling restrained inmate to challenge extent of injuries," 10 July 2019 When six or more unrelated people are living together in one house, the house has to comply with state fire codes, according to the fire marshal. Erika Butler,, "Woman arrested, charged with murder in Edgewood fatal fire on May 9," 2 July 2019 Students with allergies or impaired immunity will still be granted exemptions, but others will have to comply with the state’s immunisation regulations. Lydia Wang,, "Despite Oppositions From Jessica Biel, California Passed That Vaccination Bill," 25 June 2019 Claire's has refused to comply with the FDA's request, and the agency does not have authority to mandate a recall. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "UPDATE: FDA Claims Three Claire's Products Have Tested Positive for Asbestos," 6 Mar. 2019 Prosecutors seemingly argued that Facebook nevertheless had to comply with the government’s request. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "DOJ made secret arguments to break crypto, now ACLU wants to make them public," 28 Nov. 2018 The case first came up last month, when the Department of Justice was reportedly looking to hold Facebook in contempt of court for refusing to comply with a wiretapping request for an ongoing investigation into the MS-13 gang. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Facebook reportedly avoids US government wiretap of Messenger voice calls," 28 Sep. 2018 In addition, the choice of Switzerland as the jurisdiction of organization does not exempt Facebook or the association from having to comply with U.S. law if the token is offered, sold, and used here. Timothy Massad, Fortune, "Is Facebook Libra a Betrayal of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Vision?," 15 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comply.' 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 comply

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for comply

Italian complire, from Spanish cumplir to complete, perform what is due, be courteous, modification of Latin complēre to complete

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Statistics for comply

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for comply

The first known use of comply was in 1602

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English Language Learners Definition of comply

: to do what you have been asked or ordered to do


com·​ply | \ kəm-ˈplī How to pronounce comply (audio) \
complied; complying

Kids Definition of comply

: to act in agreement with another's wishes or in obedience to a rule Everyone complied with the request.

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More from Merriam-Webster on comply

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with comply

Spanish Central: Translation of comply

Nglish: Translation of comply for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of comply for Arabic Speakers

Comments on comply

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


something desired as essential

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