[ kuhn-fawrm ]
See synonyms for: conformconformedconformingconforms on

verb (used without object)
  1. to act according to or be obedient to a rule or norm (usually followed by to): Every team must adopt and conform to league regulations.

  2. to be in harmony or accord (usually followed by with): These results conform with those of similar studies done in the past.

  1. 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.

  2. to be or become similar in form, nature, or character (usually followed by to): Memory conforms to what we think we remember.I love how these slippers conform to my feet.

  3. to comply with the usages of an established church, especially the Church of England.

verb (used with object)
  1. to bring into agreement, correspondence, or harmony (usually used with to): We need to conform our corporate practice to the new guidelines.Despite efforts to conform the data sets perfectly, some discrepancies will persist.

  2. to make similar in form, nature, or character (usually used with to): Do not try to conform your partner to your ideal.


Origin of conform

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English confo(u)rmen, from Anglo-French, Middle French conformer, from Latin conformāre “to shape, describe, make to agree,” from con- con- + formāre “to shape, fashion” (from forma form )

Grammar notes for conform

All senses of conform necessarily involve an underlying comparison of one thing or person to another. To introduce the second thing, there are two acceptable prepositions— to and with —each being more common with certain senses. When the sense has to do with one of the things being the standard or guide for the other, the most usual preposition is to: This wiring does not conform to the building code. The car seat conforms to your body. When the sense has to do with two things that independently happen to agree or match, with is more common: Your observations conform with my own experience. However, in each case, the other preposition is also correct. When the relationship between the two things is not clear, to tends to prevail: Fortunately, the weather conformed to our expectations.

Other words for conform

Opposites for conform

Other words from conform

  • con·form·er, noun
  • con·form·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·con·form·ing, adjective
  • pre·con·form, verb
  • qua·si-con·form·ing, adjective
  • re·con·form, verb
  • un·con·formed, adjective
  • un·con·form·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use conform in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for conform


/ (kənˈfɔːm) /

  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 in: he conforms with my idea of a teacher

  1. to make or become similar in character or form

  2. (intr) to comply with the practices of an established church, esp the Church of England

  3. (tr) to bring (oneself, ideas, etc) into harmony or agreement

Origin of conform

C14: from Old French conformer, from Latin confirmāre to establish, strengthen, from firmāre to make firm, from firmus firm 1

Derived forms of conform

  • conformer, noun
  • conformingly, adverb

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