From Middle English conformen, borrowed from Old French conformer, from Latin conformāre (to mould, to shape after)



conform (third-person singular simple present conforms, present participle conforming, simple past and past participle conformed)

  1. (intransitive, of persons, often followed by to) To act in accordance with expectations; to behave in the manner of others, especially as a result of social pressure.
    • 1822, [Walter Scott], chapter I, in Peveril of the Peak. [], volume I, Edinburgh: [] Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., OCLC 2392685, pages 5–6:
      [H]e had a dispensation for conforming in outward observances to the Protestant faith.
    • 1839, Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle, ch. 4:
      [B]y conforming to the dress and habits of the Gauchos, he has obtained an unbounded popularity in the country.
    • 1983, Richard Ellis, The Book of Sharks, Knopf, →ISBN, page 110:
      In any case, most of these sharks are gray or grayish, and they certainly are typical in that they conform to everyone's idea of what a shark is supposed to look like.
  2. (intransitive, of things, situations, etc.) To be in accordance with a set of specifications or regulations, or with a policy or guideline.
    • 1919, Hildegard G. Frey, The Camp Fire Girls Do Their Bit, ch. 11:
      In height and breadth it conformed to the prescribed measurements laid down by the rules of the contest.
    • 2006 22 Dec., "Judge Cuts Amount of Vioxx Award ," New York Times (retrieved 7 June 2011):
      A judge in a Texas widow’s lawsuit over the Merck drug Vioxx reduced a $32 million jury award to about $7.75 million on Thursday so that it conformed to state law.
  3. (transitive) To make similar in form or nature; to make suitable for a purpose; to adapt.
    • c. 1710, Jonathan Swift, "Vanbrugh's House" in The Poems of Jonathan Swift (1910 edition):
      There is a worm by Phoebus bred,
      By leaves of mulberry is fed,
      Which unprovided where to dwell,
      Conforms itself to weave a cell.
    • 1836, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature, ch. 6:
      The sensual man conforms thoughts to things; the poet conforms things to his thoughts.
    • 1961 February, Cecil J. Allen, “Salute to the "Claud Hamiltons" & "Directors"”, in Trains Illustrated, page 115:
      When Nos. 1870 to 1879 emerged, in 1902, the circular front windows of the cab had given place to much larger windows, conforming to the shape of the cab roof on top and the firebox top below, [...].


Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.




Borrowed from French conforme.



conform (+dative)

  1. according to

Related termsEdit