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

To explain the track in many words defeats the purpose of its message because the duo cannot conform to the complicated notions surrounding love. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Here Are the Lyrics to Florida Georgia Line's 'Simple'," 6 July 2018 Pitt said the father didn't conform to social norms, acted impulsively and aggressively, lacked remorse, didn't have close friends, and required excessive admiration, according to court records. Fox News, "Suspected killer had history of abuse, mental health issues," 6 June 2018 On Wednesday, the singer posted a series of photos on Instagram that capture her doing exactly that—and commenters were quick to praise Rih for once again not conforming to beauty standards. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Rihanna's Leg Hair Has Social Media Cancelling Shaving This Summer," 2 May 2018 And now, in an election year. Trump is getting more pressure from Trump-state Republicans to go easy on items like NAFTA because their impacts have been beneficial and do not conform to the simplistic opposition the president has laid out. Lisa Mascaro,, "Live analysis and video: Trump's first State of the Union address," 31 Jan. 2018 The article contained factual inaccuracies and did not conform to Newsweek's editorial standards. Newsweek Staff, Newsweek, "Retracted: U.S. Military Sending Warship to Israel, Spy Planes to Syria After Chemical Weapons Report," 28 June 2017 In one, women were forced to conform to a stringent dystopian society based on the Old Testament., "All The Book-To-TV Adaptations We Can’t Wait To See In 2018," 28 June 2018 That’s why nearly every animal today conforms to the plan. Adam Stanton, Scientific American, "Why Do Robots Look Like Animals and Humans?," 5 June 2018 Get our daily newsletter That conforms to the pattern of this unequal struggle. The Economist, "Daniel Ortega is causing a bloodbath in Nicaragua," 12 July 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

19 Oct 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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a state of commotion or excitement

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