com·​ply | \ kəm-ˈplī \
complied; complying

Definition of comply

intransitive verb

1 obsolete : to be ceremoniously courteous
2 : 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

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

Takis ingredients fully comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, and all of the ingredients in each flavor are listed in detail on the label. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "Hot Cheetos and Takis May Have Contributed to Teen's Need for Gallbladder Surgery," 24 July 2018 Of 21 trips reviewed by the inspector general's investigators, only one complied with all federal travel requirements. CBS News, "Government watchdog slams former HHS head for travel," 13 July 2018 Of 21 trips reviewed by the inspector general’s investigators, only one complied with all federal travel requirements. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar,, "Agency watchdog slams ex-HHS chief Tom Price on costly travel," 13 July 2018 After a meeting in Vienna, Emirati Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said the cartel decided to fully comply with its existing production ceiling. Washington Post, "OPEC countries to pump more oil to contain price increase," 22 June 2018 The companies, naturally, maintain that their privacy policies fully comply with the GDPR. John Rothchild, Scientific American, "New European Rules May Give US Internet Users True Privacy Choices for the First Time," 15 June 2018 SDSU West supporters hailed the ruling on Friday, calling the SoccerCity lawsuit frivolous in a news release and asserting that SDSU West fully complies with state law and other regulations. David Garrick,, "Judge rejects lawsuit aimed at keeping SDSU West proposal off November ballot," 15 June 2018 Ethiopia's announcement to comply fully with the Boundary Commission's decision will mark a new chapter in the relations between the two countries and will be consequential for regional peace and stability. Awol K. Allo, CNN, "Ethiopia's new Prime Minister has had a stellar two months, can he keep it up?," 7 June 2018 If industries complied with cheap stockpiled allowances rather than real emission reductions, emissions would not decline 40 percent by 2030. David Roberts, Vox, "California’s cap-and-trade system may be too weak to do its job," 12 Dec. 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 1

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

4 Feb 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 \
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).


to deny responsibility for

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