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

Instead of complying with an order to stop, Neal allegedly hit the gas and drove onto the sidewalk, slamming into a pedestrian and pinning him against scaffolding in front of the Tenderloin Police Station. Kurtis Alexander,, "Driver in San Francisco rampage was on depressants, DA says," 3 June 2019 Fiat Chrysler and Renault hope that scale will reduce the cost of complying with government mandates that require increasing electric-car production... The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Government Auto Merger," 27 May 2019 However, the deal cannot go ahead until a deal to sell Alex Sandro is completed due to Juventus' need to comply by Financial Fair Play rules., "Juventus Set to Follow Up Ronaldo Signing With Shock Move for Real Madrid Teammate," 11 July 2018 Shares of technology companies skidded after some U.S. businesses moved to comply with restrictions against Huawei Technologies, setting up major stock indexes for another tough week amid the escalating trade spat. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Dragged Down by Tech Sector," 20 May 2019 Many drugmakers have been complying in the interim, sending out notices to health plans. Robert Langreth,, "Drugmakers cancel some price increases after California law takes effect," 10 July 2018 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

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

10 Jun 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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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