con·​form | \ kən-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce conform (audio) \
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 toconform 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from conform

conformer noun
conformism \ kən-​ˈfȯr-​ˌmi-​zəm How to pronounce conformism (audio) \ noun

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 The concert — which will be repeated on the orchestra’s Digital Concert Hall platform on Saturday — was organized to conform with local health regulations. New York Times, "The Berlin Philharmonic Tests a Musical Path Out of Lockdown," 1 May 2020 Why not notify viewers if a film has been changed to conform with Chinese propaganda? Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "How to Counter Chinese Pressure on Hollywood," 29 Apr. 2020 To conform with the social distancing recommended to slow the spread of COVID-19, shoppers buying groceries and other items through Walmart Pay will no longer have to tap a screen. Charisse Jones, USA TODAY, "Don't touch: Walmart enables customers to make a purchase, get a delivery with no contact," 27 Mar. 2020 Unlike regular truth, the two-plus-two-equals-four, actual state of the matter, conforming with reality, observable and verifiable truth, Truth with a capital T is grander, subjective, not always provable. Karina Bland, azcentral, "How can you find your Truth, with a capital T?," 22 Mar. 2020 The summit between leaders from the Group of Seven nations will instead be held through video conferencing in an effort to conform with advice from medical professionals regarding social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. NBC News, "Players, staff from the Lakers, Celtics and 76ers test positive," 20 Mar. 2020 Along with them, nearly 800 companies agreed to conform with the Science Based Targets Initiative, a collaboration between the UN Global Compact and think tanks like the World Resources Institute and World Wide Fund for Nature. Mythili Sampathkumar, Fortune, "The UN Went Full Force on Climate Change This Year, But Will It Change the Business World?," 16 Dec. 2019 Georgulas responded this week, filing two new motions Tuesday for Cook to first conform with the jury’s verdict to grant the mother sole custody, and then to step down from her position, The Texan reported. Fox News, "Texas child at center of transgender custody battle reportedly goes to school dressed as boy," 9 Nov. 2019 Simsbury officials have determined that the Gifts of Love farm, which recently eliminated its main educational program, will need to document its other educational efforts in order to conform with its lease. Emily Brindley,, "Simsbury officials: Gifts of Love farm must account for educational offerings," 30 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conform

Time Traveler for conform

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for conform

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for conform


How to pronounce conform (audio)

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 How to pronounce conform (audio) \
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 How to pronounce conform (audio) \

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 How to pronounce conformance (audio) \ noun
conformity \ kən-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​tē How to pronounce conformity (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up conform? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!