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con·​form·​ist kən-ˈfȯr-mist How to pronounce conformist (audio)
plural conformists
: one who conforms : a person who behaves in accordance with prevailing standards or customs and typically dislikes or avoids unconventional behavior
I'm running with the herd and swimming with the tide and being a good little conformist.Florence King
If most people you know are following a certain course, you may want to do the same—not because you are a conformist, but because so many people are unlikely to be wrong.Cass R. Sunstein
… the problem that many big-media journalists are now cautious, well-paid conformists distant from their audiences …James Poniewozik


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: following or seeking to enforce prevailing standards or customs : opposing or avoiding unconventional thinking and behavior
The Franks were pious, conformist, and warlike; the Occitans, fun-loving and free-thinking.Joan Acocella
… offering two visions of a future based on choosing a less conformist society.Tracie Richardson
In eight essays, some previously published … Harper argues that conformist demands for so-called proper gender identities for the race have limited cultural images and life itself.Thomas Davis
The original Beats rebelled against a postwar society they saw as staid, conformist and commercial.Jeff Giles and Michael Rubiner

Examples of conformist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Yet apart from their private passion, these letters, together with his son’s judgment, portray a rather wooden man, repressed and conformist. Colin Thubron, The New York Review of Books, 19 Jan. 2023 Afflicting not the comfortable but the smug, the superficial, and the conformist is a critic’s job. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 5 Oct. 2023 His parents, both government scientists and cautious communist conformists, were alarmed. Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Aug. 2023 For both active Putin supporters and passive conformists, the war is no longer just a part of everyday existence. Andrei Kolesnikov, Foreign Affairs, 7 Apr. 2023 From being a complacent conformist to a man who seizes accountability for his destiny and doggedly pursues growth, his journey is a testament to his teachings. Jon Stogan, USA TODAY, 30 May 2023 This new way of thinking (and dressing) has definitely started to change fashion's tone, thanks to the new generation of non-conformists. Kristina Rutkowski, Harper's BAZAAR, 4 Apr. 2023 The middle part of society is composed of conformists, most of whom are passive but some are active. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Feb. 2023 Among Putin’s supporters there is also a group of aggressive conformists who have become supporters of total war. CNN, 18 Feb. 2023
Yes, Russian society is in a state of conformist apathy, justifying the war to itself by borrowing words given to the public by the authorities; the political opposition is in exile, in jail, or dead. Andrei Kolesnikov, Foreign Affairs, 17 May 2024 Yet the two least conformist and most expressive characters on stage, Madson's Rowley and Zoe Smith's Fregley, also appear to be among the freest and happiest people. Jim Higgins, Journal Sentinel, 8 Apr. 2024 Both reckless and conformist, the traditional male-run VCs were exposed as too easily besotted by hypermasculine charmers like Adam Neumann; 98 percent of the companies in their portfolios had male founders. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, 14 Feb. 2024 Even the conformist bozos in Hollywood have hinted at sympathy, with the film How to Blow Up a Pipeline, which takes after a book of the same name by Andreas Malm, a human ecologist at Lund University. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's Magazine, 1 Nov. 2023 Babbitt’s conformist spirit is willing, but his flesh is weak. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 5 Dec. 2023 The dot paintings created an uproar when shown at the 1965 São Paulo Bienal, which coincided with the start of a conformist military dictatorship in Brazil. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct. 2023 His rage comes from me too: from being stuck in this conformist way of life. Marta Balaga, Variety, 4 Sep. 2023 That’s the conventional school of thought almost any intern assumes will deliver them from the spare cubicles to the corner office, and this type of conformist thinking is clearly pervasive within many C-suite biographies from today’s foremost successful companies. Laurie Winger, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conformist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1651, in the meaning defined above


1677, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of conformist was in 1651

Dictionary Entries Near conformist

Cite this Entry

“Conformist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

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