v. con·formed, con·form·ing, con·forms
a. To be or act in accord with a set of standards, expectations, or specifications: a computer that conforms with the manufacturer's advertising claims; students learning to conform to school safety rules. See Synonyms at correspond.
b. To act, often unquestioningly, in accordance with traditional customs or prevailing standards: "Our table manners ... change from time to time, but the changes are not reasoned out; we merely notice and conform" (Mark Twain).
2. To be similar in form or pattern: a windy road that conforms to the coastline; a shirt that conforms to different body shapes.
To bring into accord or agreement; cause to correspond or comply: "a woman who has conformed herself to the male-designed image of virtuous widowhood so that she can live in peace" (Jennifer Panek). See Synonyms at adapt.
[Middle English conformen, from Old French conformer, from Latin cōnfōrmāre, to shape after : com-, com- + fōrmāre, to shape (from fōrma, shape).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.