con·​form | \ kən-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce conform (audio) \
conformed; conforming; conforms

Essential Meaning of conform

1 : to be similar to or the same as something
2 : to obey or agree with something There are new security rules and all airlines are required to conform. [=(more commonly) comply]
3 : to do what other people do : to behave in a way that is accepted by most people Most teenagers feel pressure to conform.

Full 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

Other Words from conform

conformer noun
conformism \ kən-​ˈfȯr-​ˌmi-​zəm How to pronounce conform (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. businesses accommodating themselves to the new political reality 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 Coventry Zoning Board of Appeals handles requests by property owners seeking to build an addition, a storage shed or any other structure that does not conform with zoning rules. Daniela Altimari,, 31 Oct. 2021 Aiko exclaims) and an outlook on making music that doesn’t conform to any set genre or industry mold. Kristine Kwak, Rolling Stone, 20 Oct. 2021 Reed is known for designs that don't conform to any sort of gender binary. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 18 Oct. 2021 The city permitted Merici Crossings to be built even though its use does not conform with the site’s U-2 zoning. cleveland, 28 Aug. 2021 An incorrect legal basis is grounds for an annulment because all legal acts must conform with the EU’s treaties and Charter of Fundamental Rights. Nana Ama Sarfo, Forbes, 11 Mar. 2021 The resort was initially built around the landscape, but now the ecology might be designed to conform to the ski infrastructure. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Nov. 2021 The city offices, then-Western Maryland College, banks and schools all agreed to operate on the new time, while businesses were expected to conform soon after. Kevin Dayhoff,, 30 Oct. 2021 Beyond this, procurement functions need to be adaptable and agile based on the needs of the business and not simply ask the business to conform to its policy. Quora, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for conform

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

22 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for conform


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.


intransitive verb
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 conform (audio) \ noun
conformity \ kən-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​tē How to pronounce conform (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on conform

Nglish: Translation of conform for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conform for Arabic Speakers


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