Definition of comply in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəmˈplī/

verb (complies, complying, complied)

[no object]
1(Of a person or group) act in accordance with a wish or command: we are unable to comply with your request
More example sentences
  • The government did not comply with the protestors' wishes in either case.
  • I am a firm believer that relatives should try to comply with the wishes of their loved ones.
  • One theory is that she may have refused to comply with his wishes, adding to his frustration.
abide by, observe, obey, adhere to, conform to, hew to, follow, respect;
agree to, assent to, go along with, yield to, submit to, defer to;
satisfy, fulfill
1.1(Of an article) meet specified standards: all secondhand furniture must comply with the new standards
More example sentences
  • The design of these vessels will be to the latest standards, and will comply with all relevant marine design codes.
  • The companies would have to comply with training standards and safety procedures.
  • The shipments must comply with welfare standards that have been developed by the ministry.


Late 16th century: from Italian complire, Catalan complir, Spanish cumplir, from Latin complere 'fill up, fulfill' (see complete). The original sense was 'fulfill, accomplish', later 'fulfill the requirements of courtesy', hence 'to be agreeable, to oblige or obey.' Compare with compliment.

Words that rhyme with comply

ally, Altai, apply, assai, awry, ay, aye, Baha'i, belie, bi, Bligh, buy, by, bye, bye-bye, chi, Chiangmai, Ciskei, cry, Cy, Dai, defy, deny, Di, die, do-or-die, dry, Dubai, dye, espy, eye, fie, fly, forbye, fry, Frye, goodbye (US goodby), guy, hereby, hi, hie, high, I, imply, I-spy, July, kai, lie, lye, Mackay, misapply, my, nearby, nigh, Nye, outfly, passer-by, phi, pi, pie, ply, pry, psi, Qinghai, rai, rely, rocaille, rye, scry, serai, shanghai, shy, sigh, sky, Skye, sky-high, sly, spin-dry, spry, spy, sty, Sukhotai, supply, Tai, Thai, thereby, thigh, thy, tie, Transkei, try, tumble-dry, underlie, Versailles, Vi, vie, whereby, why, wry, Wye, xi, Xingtai, Yantai

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: com·ply

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