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

Democrats have accused the Trump administration of failing to comply with subpoenas in an effort to stonewall Congress' oversight power. Michael Balsamo And Matthew Daly,, "White House (again) asserts executive privilege, this time in fight over census citizenship question," 12 June 2019 An inspection report filed that same day said the restaurant failed to comply with mandated improvements and failed to pay delinquent license fees for 2019-2020. Justin Phillips,, "After 12 years in San Francisco, Mission Beach Cafe closed for health code violations," 10 June 2019 Starting last week, restaurants that failed to comply with the Children's Meal Ordinance — legislation enacted by the Louisville Metro Council — could face a civil fine. Benjamin Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Starting now, Louisville restaurants may be fined for lacking healthy kids meal options," 10 June 2019 Employees who suffer injury because their employer intentionally fails to comply with these requirements are entitled to their actual damages or up to a $4,000 aggregate penalty plus the employees’ costs and attorney’s fees. Dan Eaton, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Employer may identify itself by recorded fictitious business name on paystub," 10 June 2019 To pay for it, lawmakers wanted to re-establish the penalty for failing to comply with the federal health coverage mandate. Jenna Carlesso,, "Public option bill, already weakened by debate, dies in the Senate," 6 June 2019 Two officers searching a shed behind a house encountered Maynard, who failed to comply with verbal commands, Ayers said. Fox News, "Chief: Officer kills man accused of killing Georgia officer," 23 Oct. 2018 Companies that fail to comply with the new rule face fines of $100,000 for a first violation and $300,000 for a second or subsequent violation. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "California is officially the first state that will try to require companies like Apple, Facebook and Alphabet to add more women to their boards," 1 Oct. 2018 Kevin Hyland, the anti-slavery commissioner, says the Home Office should keep a register of all companies required to have plans, and fine those which fail to comply. The Economist, "Britain’s new law against modern slavery secures a rare conviction," 5 July 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

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 take the place or position of

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