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 Jordan Parker, 26, of Springdale, is currently charged with failure to comply to a police officer, obstructing official business and traffic citations. Cameron Knight,, "Springdale man suspected in New Year's Day triple shooting in Pendleton appears in court," 2 Jan. 2020 Over that same period, 612 failure to register and failure to comply charges were filed in district court. Stephen Simpson, Arkansas Online, "Sex-offender housing laws raise hitch," 29 Dec. 2019 The movie portrayed Dolores as 15 years old instead of 12 years old, in order to comply with the strict Motion Picture Production Code, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Helen Murphy,, "Sue Lyon, Star of Stanley Kubrick's Lolita, Dies at 73," 28 Dec. 2019 Thomas Briant, the organization's executive director, told IndyStar on Friday that more time to prepare would have been helpful but the association is doing its best to help its members comply. Elizabeth Depompei, Indianapolis Star, "The legal age to buy cigarettes is now 21. But retailers say the situation is hazy.," 27 Dec. 2019 In addition, Burroughs has outstanding warrants for failure to appear and failure to comply, the newspaper reported. Fox News, "Arkansas man struck store employee with vehicle after stealing gel insoles, 'other foot products,' authorities say," 18 Dec. 2019 For example, two McKinsey slides, presented below, show that the firm’s hiring work was reoriented toward helping ICE comply with Trump’s executive order directing the agency to hire 10,000 immigration officers. Ian Macdougall, ProPublica, "McKinsey Called Our Story About Its ICE Contract False. It’s Not.," 16 Dec. 2019 Police were trying to arrest the man on warrants for assault and failure to comply, Albrets said. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Lakewood police kill man in shooting while trying to serve arrest warrants," 11 Nov. 2019 It was accompanied by a covering letter from a senior civil servant explaining that the letter was being sent in order to comply with a law passed by Parliament last month which is designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit. Peter Wilkinson, CNN, "Johnson asked EU leaders for a Brexit delay. He also told them not to grant it," 19 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for comply

Time Traveler

The first known use of comply was in 1602

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Statistics for comply

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Comply.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for comply


How to pronounce comply (audio)

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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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