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

Thanks to an enormous amount of online support, there's no shortage of yummy ideas that comply with the rules. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "26 Slow-Cooker Dinners That Are Whole30-Approved," 1 Jan. 2019 As such, modular homes are required to comply with local building and zoning laws, as opposed to the federal law. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "The Impressive Evolution Of Prefabricated Houses," 24 Dec. 2018 While attempting to access an archive of his own recordings, the German man's Alexa complied. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Amazon Alexa Sends Man 1,700 Recordings From a Stranger's House," 20 Dec. 2018 Do the changing products on my registry comply with the new standards? Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "New Safety Standards Are Coming for Baby Changing Products — Here's Everything You Need to Know," 25 July 2018 The Assembly passed a bill that would have changed the law to comply with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act but the Senate ended the legislative session before taking it up. Max Bayer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin, U.S. Department of Justice reach agreement ensuring electronic absentee ballots," 22 June 2018 An extension from the federal government giving Missouri more time to comply with the REAL ID law is set to expire this fall. Allison Kite, kansascity, "Missouri isn’t ready for the switch to REAL ID. That could affect your travel plans," 15 June 2018 Both firms will provide prioritized recommendations that for changes that comply with industry standards and national best practices. Kate Murphy,, "Cincinnati hires two firms to investigate police, 911 response in Kyle Plush death," 11 June 2018 A month later, the state allowed Strategic to admit new patients, saying surveys found the south Charlotte psychiatric center made changes to comply with regulations. Cassie Cope And Fred Clasen-kelly, charlotteobserver, "Youth psych center faced abuse allegations. So why did Cardinal keep sending patients?," 8 June 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

7 Jan 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

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involving abstract or general statements

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