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

Keep scrolling for more

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 However, the pressures to conform to the demands of the industry and fans nearly derailed the band several times. NBC News, 12 Oct. 2021 Designed to conform to your body, the YnM Reversible Weighted Blanket has seven layers. Isabel Garcia,, 12 Oct. 2021 Brittany, who was sixteen years old, quickly saw that the only way to move through the program was to conform. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2021 Once a top-line spending figure is determined, the party likely will have to agree to pare back some items, from social programs to tax credits, to conform to that number. Tribune Media Services, al, 26 Sep. 2021 Kristen Stewart’s Princess Diana struggles to conform to the Royal Family’s way of doing things in the official trailer for Spencer. Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone, 23 Sep. 2021 After all, the escape from in-office environments—which often force Black people to conform to a discriminatory professional culture—is one of the few lifestyle changes wrought by the pandemic that present new, freeing opportunities. Malik Peay, Condé Nast Traveler, 23 Sep. 2021 Your social desire to conform distorts your independent judgment. Filippo Menczer, The Conversation, 20 Sep. 2021 Among other details, top retailers allege that they were pushed by the Stidhams to have weight loss surgery to conform to their idealized image of what women should look like. Mahita Gajanan, Time, 10 Sep. 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.

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

Dictionary Entries Near conform




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for conform

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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