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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
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 But it could just as easily be viewed through the lens of anything deemed unacceptable by society (which, in the conformist ’80s, was a long, long list). Tara Gonzalez, Harper's BAZAAR, 19 Dec. 2022 Beneatha’s choice between two suitors — a preppy conformist (Mister Fitzgerald) and a Nigerian idealist (John Clay III) — is fully engaging no matter how creaky the setup is. Jesse Green, New York Times, 25 Oct. 2022
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 As hard as being openly gay may be in Japan’s conformist society, in some ways public attitudes have evolved more quickly than those of the country’s political leaders. New York Times, 5 June 2021 The results have been far from unpromising, notwithstanding the fog machine of an unimaginative and conformist press. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, 20 Oct. 2020 Music was now becoming very conformist. Jordan Runtagh,, 16 Sep. 2021 And where the exercise of one’s imagination can be dismissed as a blandly unimaginative, even conformist gesture? Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2023 This difference is visible on the battlefield, where the Russian Army is conformist and cowering, and the outnumbered and outgunned Ukrainian Army adaptable and creative. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2022 Gender non-conformist? Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 25 June 2021 What rankles—or to use one of the artist’s preferred words, sucks—is that Zappa’s concept of anti-conformist individualism settled into something so conventional. John Semley, The New Republic, 26 Nov. 2020 See More

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 22 Sep. 2023.

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