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

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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 Enbridge argues the governor doesn't have the authority to pull its easement and is refusing to comply with her order. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Senate GOP threatens money for DNR salaries, ties it to fate of Line 5 legal battle," 12 May 2021 In recent days, Alaska Airlines banned an Alaska state senator for refusing to comply with mask requirements, according to The Anchorage Daily News. NBC News, "FAA warns of spike in unruly, dangerous passenger behavior," 4 May 2021 Major app companies including Spotify, Tile and Match Group — which owns the dating app Tinder — accused Apple and Google of everything from exorbitant marketplace fees to retaliation for refusing to comply with the platforms' terms. Brian Fung, CNN, "Epic v. Apple: The legal challenge that could remake the future of the digital economy," 2 May 2021 Ahead of the service Saturday, the royal family said that those in attendance would comply with current government rules., "Image of queen grieving alone prompts calls for Britain to revise COVID funeral restrictions," 19 Apr. 2021 Refusing to comply with, say, mask mandates is another. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's TML: Expressiveness isn't new in baseball, but OGs still appreciate unwritten rules," 7 Apr. 2021 Two of them were Black, including Terry Garnett Jr., 37, who in 2015 was shot by a sheriff’s deputy 12 times after refusing to comply with a traffic stop. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "In former Klan country, one Black woman decides she’s had enough," 31 Mar. 2021 The man, who is 26 years old, was having a mental health crisis and refusing to comply with orders from police, the audio continued. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Man shot in Coon Rapids neighborhood during encounter with police," 15 Mar. 2021 According to news reports, a male passenger became disruptive while refusing to comply with the airline’s face-covering policy. Elliott Hester, Los Angeles Times, "When flight attendants become mask cops, the noncompliant can get grounded," 10 Mar. 2021

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

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Comply.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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.

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