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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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make similar in form, nature, or character.
  2. to bring into agreement, correspondence, or harmony.
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  1. Archaic. conformable.
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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

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Antonyms for conform

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

Examples from the Web for non-conforming

Historical Examples of non-conforming

  • Laud succeeded in hunting the non-conforming Puritans from their lectureships and chaplaincies.

    The Beginners of a Nation

    Edward Eggleston.

  • No non-conforming sects disturb his reign, For of his yoke, there's very few complain.

  • Her offence was harboring a non-conforming minister named Hicks.

  • Every non-conforming measure is unquestionably affected by the prevailing type of the rhythmical sequence in which it occurs.

British Dictionary definitions for non-conforming


  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
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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 non-conforming


also nonconforming, 1640s, from non- + conforming (see conform). Originally with reference to churches.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper