verb con·form \ kən-ˈfȯrm \
|Updated on: 10 Aug 2018

Definition of conform

conformed; conforming; conforms
: to give the same shape, outline, or contour to : bring into harmony or accord
  • conform furrows to the slope of the land
1 : to be similar or identical; also : to be in agreement or harmony used with to or with
  • changes that conform with our plans
2 a : to be obedient or compliant usually used with to
  • conform to another's wishes
  • The building doesn't conform to local regulations.
b : to act in accordance with prevailing standards or customs
  • the pressure to conform




play \kən-ˈfȯr-ˌmi-zəm\ noun


play \kən-ˈfȯr-mist\ noun or adjective

Examples of conform in a Sentence

  1. Most teenagers feel pressure to conform.

  2. the list conforms with the contents of the trunk

Recent Examples of conform from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of conform

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

CONFORM Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of conform for English Language Learners

  • : 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

CONFORM Defined for Kids


verb con·form \ kən-ˈfȯrm \

Definition of conform for Students

conformed; conforming
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.

Word Root of conform

The Latin word forma, meaning “form” or “shape,” gives us the root form. Words from the Latin forma have something to do with shape. The form of a person or thing is its shape. To conform is to fit in with others in form, shape, or manner. Something formal, such as dinner, follows a specific custom or form. The format of something, such as a book, is its general shape and arrangement.

Law Dictionary


intransitive verb 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


play \kən-ˈfȯr-məns\ noun


play \kən-ˈfȯr-mə-tē\ noun

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