con·​form | \kən-ˈfȯrm \
conformed; conforming; conforms

Definition of conform 

transitive verb

: to give the same shape, outline, or contour to : bring into harmony or accord conform furrows to the slope of the land

intransitive verb

1 : to be similar or identical also : to be in agreement or harmony used with to or with changes that conform with our plans

2a : to be obedient or compliant usually used with to conform to another's wishesThe building doesn't conform to local regulations.

b : to act in accordance with prevailing standards or customs the pressure to conform

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Other Words from conform

conformer noun
conformism \kən-​ˈfȯr-​ˌmi-​zəm \ noun
conformist \kən-​ˈfȯr-​mist \ noun or adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for conform

adapt, adjust, accommodate, conform, reconcile mean to bring one thing into correspondence with another. adapt implies a modification according to changing circumstances. adapted themselves to the warmer climate adjust suggests bringing into a close and exact correspondence or harmony such as exists between parts of a mechanism. adjusted the budget to allow for inflation accommodate may suggest yielding or compromising to effect a correspondence. accommodated his political beliefs in order to win conform applies to bringing into accordance with a pattern, example, or principle. refused to conform to society's values reconcile implies the demonstration of the underlying compatibility of things that seem to be incompatible. tried to reconcile what he said with what I knew

Did You Know?

Conform, with its prefix con-, "with" or "together", means basically "to adopt the form of those around you". Thus, employee behavior must usually conform with basic company policies. A certain philosophy may be said to conform with American values (even if we sometimes have a hard time agreeing on exactly what those are). And a Maine Coon cat or a Dandie Dinmont terrier must conform to its breed requirements in order to be registered for breeding purposes. Being a conformist is usually a safe bet; being a nonconformist, who ignores society's standards and the whole idea of conformity, can be a bit dangerous but also sometimes more fun.

Examples of conform in a Sentence

Most teenagers feel pressure to conform. the list conforms with the contents of the trunk

Recent Examples on the Web

Brands, especially small ones, are under a lot of pressure to sell and to conform to the whims of retailers. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "A leaked email reveals why you can’t always trust Sephora product reviews," 16 Oct. 2018 For members of these groups, beauty standards have long been merciless, but for many trans and nonbinary people, conforming to society’s aesthetic expectations often feels impossible. Ludmila Leiva, Allure, "Meet Fluide, the Makeup Brand That Believes in the Power of Inclusion — Not Tokenism," 10 Sep. 2018 Your suspicions have been conformed: The king of Twitter admits his social media giant is run by a cauldron of bias. Greg Gutfeld, Fox News, "Gutfeld on Twitter's liberal bias," 21 Aug. 2018 There are a lot of electronic gizmos to conform the ride to the driver, and putting it in dynamic mode tightens the suspension and steering, delays the shift points and puts a smile on your face. Robert Duffer,, "Review: 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake is no family truckster," 9 July 2018 But Asylum is the show’s most forthright depiction of the ways that American society once tried to literally wipe LGBTQ people from the face of the planet for not strictly conforming to that norm. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Every season of American Horror Story so far, ranked," 12 Sep. 2018 The lot coverage of the principal dwelling unit, including the ADU must still conform to the maximum lot coverage allowed within the R-1 and R- 1A zone. Connie Yoshimura, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage’s new accessory dwelling ordinance makes some big changes in housing rules," 28 June 2018 Near the center of the blast, the suffering and devastation most closely conform to the fictional apocalypse of our imaginations. Daily Intelligencer, "This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like," 12 June 2018 The name also conforms to majority use in Texas, where Hispanic is also used but may be falling out of favor and where Latino and Latinx, in use by some, still isn’t in wide circulation. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "Mexican American Studies scholars waging fight against SBOE this week," 27 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conform.' 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 conform

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for conform

Middle English, from Anglo-French conformer, from Latin conformare, from com- + formare to form, from forma form

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Statistics for conform

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conform

The first known use of conform was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for conform



English Language Learners Definition of conform

: to be similar to or the same as something

: to obey or agree with something

: to do what other people do : to behave in a way that is accepted by most people


con·​form | \kən-ˈfȯrm \
conformed; conforming

Kids Definition of conform

1 : to make or be like : agree, accord The weather conforms to the recent pattern.

2 : comply Every student needs to conform to school rules.

con·​form | \kən-ˈfȯrm \

Legal Definition of conform 

: to be in accordance : correspond in character specifically : to be in accordance with the provisions of a contract

Other Words from conform

conformance \kən-​ˈfȯr-​məns \ noun
conformity \kən-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​tē \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on conform

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for conform

Spanish Central: Translation of conform

Nglish: Translation of conform for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conform for Arabic Speakers

Comments on conform

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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