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

Keep scrolling for more

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 The country’s rate of infection remains stubbornly high, apparently driven by the arrival of variant strains and the failure of some communities to comply with coronavirus restrictions. Washington Post, "Israel’s ahead-of-the-world vaccine rollout offers hope for countries lagging behind," 28 Feb. 2021 The driver was cited for speeding, failure to comply, going through a stop sign, driving an unsafe vehicle and a willful disregard for safety. John Benson, cleveland, "Speeding Macedonia teen attempts to elude officer, ends up hitting telephone pole: Brecksville Police Blotter," 24 Feb. 2021 Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action, which may include removal from residence halls, suspension, or both, the university said. Emily Sweeney,, "UMass Amherst students could face discipline for violating pandemic protocols in wake of school lockdown," 9 Feb. 2021 Employees charged that they were fired for complaining about unsafe working conditions, or the failure to comply with COVID protocols. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "COVID-19 sparks more than 1,000 workplace-related lawsuits in 2020 as employees complain about safety, wages," 6 Jan. 2021 Rittenhouse's charge is failure to comply with an emergency management order of state or local government, a citation that carries no criminal penalty. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Kyle Rittenhouse given seventh charge following Kenosha shooting: Violating curfew," 29 Dec. 2020 Failure to comply will result in a fine or a prison sentence of up to six months, or both. Michael Cohen,, "How South Africa’s New Virus Restrictions Will Affect Business," 29 Dec. 2020 Steele has proposed that Oregon do pre-emptive facility inspections and issue civil penalties for failure to comply with regulations. oregonlive, "Senior care deaths soar as Oregon readies for a tough winter," 16 Dec. 2020 Failure to comply with the new rules could lead to administrative or criminal sanctions, the law says. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "Mexico Passes Law Curbing Operations of Foreign Security Agents," 15 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about comply

Statistics for comply

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Comply.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for comply



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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!