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

But the Trump administration has not disclosed its full plans for complying with the order to reunite parents and children. Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, "ACLU slaps Trump administration over parent deportation form," 3 July 2018 And some privacy advocates said the bill did not go as far as the ballot initiative in allowing individuals to sue for not complying. Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times, "California Passes Sweeping Law to Protect Online Privacy," 28 June 2018 Standing, and walking, especially, became unbearably painful for her; her feet simply would not comply. Mariana Viera, Teen Vogue, "Domestic Workers Like My Mom Deserve Protection and Security," 26 Mar. 2019 More than eight years have passed since the ACA and its workplace pumping provision became law, and many employers aren’t complying. Jenna Sauers, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Women Really Quit Breastfeeding," 17 July 2018 The governor has asked for a 90-day extension to comply with the federal law, and his disclosure is due by the end of July. Mary Ellen Klas, miamiherald, "Rick Scott and family made $550M in one transaction. How 'blind' is his blind trust?," 11 July 2018 All but two — Tornillo and Homestead, housing more than 1,350 children combined — must comply with state regulations that govern nearly every aspect of a child's stay. Graham Kates, CBS News, "Some detention centers for migrant children not subject to traditional inspections," 5 July 2018 The move will help airlines comply with U.S. and foreign government requirements that passenger data match the identification travelers bring to the airport. Alison Sider, WSJ, "Airline Bookings to Offer New Gender Options," 16 Feb. 2019 Even though Jones complied in every way, Groubert shot Jones for reaching into his car to retrieve his wallet, traumatizing him for life. Michael Harriot, The Root, "All Black People Are Victims of Police Brutality," 26 June 2018

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

29 Apr 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

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something valued as if it were money

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