What does conform mean?

Definitions for conform

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word conform.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. conformverb

    be similar, be in line with

  2. adjust, conform, adaptverb

    adapt or conform oneself to new or different conditions

    "We must adjust to the bad economic situation"


  1. conformverb

    To act in accordance with expectations; to behave in the manner of others, especially as a result of social pressure.

  2. conformverb

    To be in accordance with a set of specifications or regulations, or with a policy or guideline.

  3. conformverb

    To make similar in form or nature; to make suitable for a purpose; to adapt.

  4. Etymology: From conformen, from conformer, from conformare

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Conformadjective

    Assuming the same form; wearing the same form; resembling.

    Etymology: conformis, Latin.

    Variety of tunes doth dispose the spirits to variety of passions conform unto them. Francis Bacon, Natural History, b. x.

  2. To CONFORMverb

    To reduce to the like appearance, shape, or manner with something else.

    Etymology: conformo, Latin.

    Then followed that most natural effect of conforming one’s self to that which she did like. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    The apostles did conform the Christians as much as might be, according to the pattern of the Jews. Richard Hooker, b. iv. s. 11.

    Demand of them wherefore they conform not themselves unto the order of the church? Richard Hooker, b. iii.

  3. To Conformverb

    To comply with; to yield to.

    Among mankind so few there are,
    Who will conform to philosophick fare. John Dryden, Juv.


  1. conform

    Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to group norms, politics or being like-minded. Norms are implicit, specific rules, shared by a group of individuals, that guide their interactions with others. People often choose to conform to society rather than to pursue personal desires - because it is often easier to follow the path others have made already, rather than forging a new one. Thus, conformity is sometimes a product of group communication. This tendency to conform occurs in small groups and/or in society as a whole and may result from subtle unconscious influences (predisposed state of mind), or from direct and overt social pressure. Conformity can occur in the presence of others, or when an individual is alone. For example, people tend to follow social norms when eating or when watching television, even if alone.The Asch Conformity Experiment demonstrates how much influence conformity has on people. In a laboratory experiment, Asch asked 50 male students from Swarthmore College in the US to participate in a 'vision test'. Asch put a naive participant in a room with seven confederates/stooges in a line judgment task. When confronted with the line task, each confederate had already decided what response they would give. The real members of the experimental group sat in the last position, while the others were pre-arranged experimenters who gave apparently incorrect answers in unison; Asch recorded the last person's answer to analyze the influence of conformity. The results were very surprising on average, about one third (32%) of the participants who were placed in this situation sided with the clearly incorrect majority on the critical trials. Over the 12 critical trials, about 75% of participants conformed at least once. After being interviewed, subjects acknowledged that they did not actually agree with the answers given by others. The majority of them, however, believe that groups are wiser or do not want to appear as mavericks and choose to repeat the same obvious misconception. It is clear from this that conformity has a powerful effect on human perception and behavior, even to the extent that it can be faked against a person's basic belief system.Changing our behaviors to match the responses of others, which is conformity, can be conscious or not. People have an intrinsic tendency to unconsciously imitate other's behaviors such as gesture, language, talking speed, and other actions of the people they interact with. There are two other main reasons for conformity: informational influence and normative influence. People display conformity in response to informational influence when they believe the group is better informed, or in response to normative influence when they are afraid of rejection. When the advocated norm could be correct, the informational influence is more important than the normative influence, while otherwise the normative influence dominates.People often conform from a desire for security within a group, also known as normative influence—typically a group of a similar age, culture, religion or educational status. This is often referred to as groupthink: a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics, which ignores realistic appraisal of other courses of action. Unwillingness to conform carries the risk of social rejection. Conformity is often associated in media with adolescence and youth culture, but strongly affects humans of all ages.Although peer pressure may manifest negatively, conformity can be regarded as either good or bad. Driving on the conventionally-approved side of the road may be seen as beneficial conformity. With the appropriate environmental influence, conforming, in early childhood years, allows one to learn and thus, adopt the appropriate behaviors necessary to interact and develop "correctly" within one's society. Conformity influences the formation and maintenance of social norms, and helps societies function smoothly and predictably via the self-elimination of behaviors seen as contrary to unwritten rules.According to Herbert Kelman, there are three types of conformity: 1) compliance (which is public conformity, and it is motivated by the need for approval or the fear of disapproval; 2) identification (which is a deeper type of conformism than compliance); 3) internalization(which is to conform both publicly and privately).Major factors that influence the degree of conformity include culture, gender, age, size of the group, situational factors, and different stimuli. In some cases, minority influence, a special case of informational influence, can resist the pressure to conform and influence the majority to accept the minority's belief or behaviors.


  1. conform

    To conform is to behave, think, or act in a way that aligns with established standards, customs, rules, or norms. It also refers to adjusting one's behavior or attitudes to fit in with a particular group or society. Furthermore, it may refer to making something similar or identical in form, nature, or character, or ensuring it is in accordance with a specific model, pattern, or specification.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Conformadjective

    of the same form; similar in import; conformable

  2. Conformverb

    to shape in accordance with; to make like; to bring into harmony or agreement with; -- usually with to or unto

  3. Conformverb

    to be in accord or harmony; to comply; to be obedient; to submit; -- with to or with

  4. Conformverb

    to comply with the usages of the Established Church; to be a conformist

  5. Etymology: [L. conformis; con- + forma form: cf. F. conforme.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Conform

    kon-form′, v.t. to make like or of the same form with: to adapt.—v.i. to be of the same form; to comply: to obey.—n. Conformabil′ity, state of being conformable.—adj. Conform′able, corresponding in form: suitable: compliant.—adv. Conform′ably.—ns. Conformā′tion, particular form, shape, or structure: adaptation; Conform′er, Conform′ist, one who conforms, esp. with the worship of the Established Church; Conform′ity, likeness: compliance: consistency.—In conformity with, in accordance with. [L. conformārecon, with, and formāreforma, form.]

Editors Contribution

  1. conform

    To act or behave as defined in a specific rule, guideline, law, process, procedure, standard or code.

    They did conform to the government guidelines and ensured they submitted their tax return before the completion date.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 14, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. Conform

    Confirm vs Conform -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Confirm and Conform.

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British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'conform' in Verbs Frequency: #966

How to pronounce conform?

How to say conform in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of conform in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of conform in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of conform in a Sentence

  1. Shakti Gawain:

    We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own or to other peoples' models, learn to be ourselves, and allow our natural channel to open.

  2. Mitch Landrieu:

    Commissioner Harrison was the perfect fit to take what was a very difficult task of getting police officers to conform to a new way of doing things and Commissioner Harrison had enough stature in the community where Commissioner Harrison was able to bridge that gap, and Commissioner Harrison was spectacular.

  3. Ron Johnson:

    The possibility that the administration is pressuring intelligence analysts to conform those assessments to the president's narrative, that we are winning the war against ISIS, when we are not, is unacceptable.

  4. Rory McIlroy:

    I certainly feel some sympathy for him because I don’t think that you should be ostracized or criticized for being different, and I think we have all known from the start that Bryson is different and he is not going to conform to the way people want him to be, there are certainly things that he has done in the past that have brought some of this stuff on himself. I’m not saying that he’s completely blameless in this.

  5. Debasish Mridha, M.D.:

    Often we read to conform but not to educate.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for conform

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • تتفقArabic
  • съобразявам се, подчинявам се на, съответствувамBulgarian
  • συμμορφώνονταιGreek
  • noudattaaFinnish
  • s'alignerFrench
  • conformDutch
  • dostosować sięPolish
  • [[estar]] [[em]] [[conformidade]] [[com]], conformar-sePortuguese
  • acorda, conforma, concordaRomanian
  • согласоваться, быть подобным, сообразовываться, подчиняться, соответствовать, сообразовыватьRussian
  • uymakTurkish
  • theoVietnamese
  • 符合Chinese

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"conform." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/conform>.

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    declare untrue; contradict
    A emerge
    B signify
    C deny
    D accompany

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