Definition of comply in English:



  • 1 Act in accordance with a wish or command.

    ‘we are unable to comply with your request’
    • ‘Her family visited their cousin only in the winters, and complying with her wishes, I did not dare to follow her once she had left.’
    • ‘I am a firm believer that relatives should try to comply with the wishes of their loved ones.’
    • ‘I will take your failure to comply with this reasonable request as a refusal.’
    • ‘All they need do to escape it is to comply with and respect the law by reducing their speed.’
    • ‘Some of the reporters thought this was odd, and they didn't want to comply with his request.’
    • ‘The staff were clear that they were not going to comply with his request.’
    • ‘Why would people comply with requests made to them, when they can say they will not give evidence?’
    • ‘He also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a notice requesting the removal of the waste within the specified time.’
    • ‘Please provide us with your prompt written assurance that you will comply with this request.’
    • ‘Each group must argue their case and each must try to persuade the other to comply with its wishes.’
    • ‘The first to comply with their request will be awarded one of the numerous attractive spot prizes.’
    • ‘One theory is that she may have refused to comply with his wishes, adding to his frustration.’
    • ‘The men claim they were not obliged to comply with requests that had not been lawfully issued following a board meeting.’
    • ‘If you are unable to comply with the notice by the above date then you should inform me of the reasons in writing as soon as possible.’
    • ‘High risk clients were likely to attend the clinic on impulse but were unlikely to comply with a request for a repeat test.’
    • ‘The university has since claimed that it is unable to comply with the government request.’
    • ‘Half an hour later I managed to force my eyes open to comply with his request.’
    • ‘The government did not comply with the protestors' wishes in either case.’
    • ‘Passengers that refuse to comply with a request to disembark could face action from the airline.’
    • ‘They are expected to be obedient and comply with requests from adults immediately.’
    abide by, act in accordance with, observe, obey, adhere to, conform to, follow, respect
    agree to, assent to, consent to, concur in, concur with, fall in with, acquiesce in, go along with, yield to, submit to, bow to, defer to
    satisfy, meet, fulfil, measure up to
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    1. 1.1(of an article) meet specified standards.
      ‘all second-hand furniture must comply with the new regulations’
      • ‘The 81-year-old locomotive needs a complete overhaul every six to seven years to ensure it complies with modern safety standards.’
      • ‘Nor does their browser comply with half of the standards it runs by.’
      • ‘It must also comply with the local council's standards and charge no more than the local council normally pays.’
      • ‘He had come to the conclusion that this condition did not comply with that standard.’
      • ‘The German automatic water purification equipment guarantees that the brewing water complies with European standards.’
      • ‘The investigation that follows must comply with minimum human rights standards.’
      • ‘The design of these vessels will be to the latest standards, and will comply with all relevant marine design codes.’
      • ‘Since 1990 all pressing centres have had to comply with certain minimum standards.’
      • ‘The majority of stock breeding companies are not complying with the regulations to control the disease.’
      • ‘In train stations, bus stations, seaports and airports, smoking is permitted in premises complying with Article 5.’
      • ‘The companies would have to comply with training standards and safety procedures.’
      • ‘The OFT also found evidence that some companies were not complying with some consumer regulations.’
      • ‘All equipment meets the CE regulations and complies with European standards.’
      • ‘The development complies with the privacy standards.’
      • ‘Assumption is made that the Camp Health Center complies with all accreditation standards for the camp jurisdiction.’
      • ‘It is possible to get drinking water supplies tested to make sure they comply with EC standards.’
      • ‘The shipments must comply with welfare standards that have been developed by the ministry.’
      • ‘The school's administration section has complied fully with the requirement of the Information Act.’
      • ‘Trading standards are now happy that the sausages comply with the more flexible regulations.’
      • ‘The Canadian government claims the company was not complying with proper environmental rules on disposal.’
      comply with, meet, fulfil, answer, conform to
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Late 16th century: from Italian complire, Catalan complir, Spanish cumplir, from Latin complere fill up, fulfil (see complete). The original sense was ‘fulfil, accomplish’, later fulfil the requirements of courtesy, hence ‘to be agreeable, to oblige or obey’. Compare with compliment.