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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 Another option that would conform to WTO rules would be a bilateral deal between the U.S. and the EU encompassing a much larger proportion of their bilateral trade. William Boston, WSJ, "Merkel Voices Approval for Efforts to Scrap Car Tariffs," 5 July 2018 Please permit me by this letter to express my profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how to best know, interpret, and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises. Fox News, "Kennedy retirement grants Trump second high court pick," 28 June 2018 Please permit me by this letter to express my profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how best to know, interpret, and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Anthony Kennedy’s Great Legacy: His Exit," 27 June 2018 Wonderstruck went on to traditional theatrical release conforming to France’s laws, and Cannes has displayed no beef with the company, even though its end goal is digital distribution. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Netflix vs. Cannes: why they’re fighting, what it means for cinema, and who really loses," 13 Apr. 2018 Both paintings offer interpretations of the Obamas that conform to their public images. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Why Barack and Michelle Obama's new presidential portraits matter," 18 Feb. 2018 At the same time, riding the rails also offers a chance to live free, escaping the confines of conforming, small town life. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Door County theaters add stories and sparkle to summer nights," 11 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.

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

Statistics for conform

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conform

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!