9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kuh m-plahy] /kəmˈplaɪ/
verb (used without object), complied, complying.
to act or be in accordance with wishes, requests, demands, requirements, conditions, etc.; agree (sometimes followed by with):
They asked him to leave and he complied. She has complied with the requirements.
Obsolete. to be courteous or conciliatory.
Origin of comply
1595-1605; < Italian complire < Spanish cumplir (see compliment) to fulfill, accomplish < Latin complēre, equivalent to com- com- + plē- fill + -re infinitive suffix
Related forms
uncomplying, adjective
1. acquiesce, yield, conform, obey, consent, assent.
1. refuse, resist. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for complied
  • The other faithfully complied, and was freed from his enemy.
  • At the earnest request of his disciples he complied, but not without great reluctance on his side.
  • There is almost no request that he could have made that would not have been complied with.
  • He complied with their request, and he was fixed for a time among them, till he run from them.
  • The by-laws should prescribe the method of nomination and election of the officers, and they should be strictly complied with.
  • He complied willingly, thinking that his faults would thus be better pointed out to him.
  • He never complied with the latter and never admitted to the former.
  • The ocean freight companies have willingly complied.
  • Chevron said it had stopped the seepage within four days and had complied with the terms of its licence.
  • It has all the technical complexities of e-business, but adds whole new layers of regulatory regimes that must be complied with.
British Dictionary definitions for complied


verb (intransitive) -plies, -plying, -plied
(usually foll by with) to act in accordance with rules, wishes, etc; be obedient (to)
(obsolete) to be obedient or complaisant
Derived Forms
complier, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Italian complire, from Spanish cumplir to complete; see compliment
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for complied



early 14c., "to fulfill, carry out," from Old French compli, past participle of complir "to accomplish, fulfill, carry out," from Vulgar Latin *complire, from Latin complere "to fill up" (see complete (adj.)). Meaning influenced by ply (v.2). Sense of "to consent" began c.1600 and might have been a reintroduction from Italian, where complire had come to mean "satisfy by 'filling up' the forms of courtesy."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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