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verb (used without object)
  1. to act in accordance or harmony; comply (usually followed by to): to conform to rules.
  2. to act in accord with the prevailing standards, attitudes, practices, etc., of society or a group: One has to conform in order to succeed in this company.
  3. to be or become similar in form, nature, or character.
  4. to be in harmony or accord.
  5. to comply with the usages of an established church, especially the Church of England.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make similar in form, nature, or character.
  2. to bring into agreement, correspondence, or harmony.
  1. Archaic. conformable.

Origin of conform

1275–1325; Middle English confo(u)rmen < Anglo-French, Middle French conformer < Latin confōrmāre to shape. See con-, form
Related formscon·form·er, nouncon·form·ing·ly, adverbnon·con·form·ing, adjectivepre·con·form, verbqua·si-con·form·ing, adjectivere·con·form, verbun·con·formed, adjectiveun·con·form·ing, adjective

Synonyms for conform

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Antonyms for conform

1, 5. dissent. 3. differ. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for conform

Contemporary Examples of conform

Historical Examples of conform

British Dictionary definitions for conform


  1. (intr usually foll by to) to comply in actions, behaviour, etc, with accepted standards or norms
  2. (intr usually foll by with) to be in accordance; fit inhe conforms with my idea of a teacher
  3. to make or become similar in character or form
  4. (intr) to comply with the practices of an established church, esp the Church of England
  5. (tr) to bring (oneself, ideas, etc) into harmony or agreement
Derived Formsconformer, nounconformingly, adverb

Word Origin for conform

C14: from Old French conformer, from Latin confirmāre to establish, strengthen, from firmāre to make firm, from firmus firm 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for conform

mid-14c., confourmen, from Old French conformer "conform (to), agree (to), make or be similar, be agreeable" (13c.), from Latin conformare "to fashion, to form, to shape; educate; modify," from com- "together" (see com-) + formare "to form" (see form (v.)).

Sense of "to comply with the usages of the Church of England" is from 1610s; hence conformist (1630s), opposed to non-conformist or dissenter. Related: Conformance; conformed; conforming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper