Compliance is what you do when you try to fit standards set down by someone else. A restaurant chef's compliance with a new sugar-free menu might inspire even the pastry chefs to follow the recipes.

Plywood helps illustrate the "pli" in compliance, because if you've ever stepped on a piece of plywood stretched across something, you've felt how it gives underneath your feet. It has flexibility. Compliance means being flexible or yielding and giving in to a situation or order. "Pliant" is part of the word compliance, and it means yielding. Agreeing or bending to something like a plan, rule, or direction is compliance.

Definitions of compliance
  1. noun
    the act of submitting; usually surrendering power to another
    synonyms: submission
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    obedience, obeisance
    the act of obeying; dutiful or submissive behavior with respect to another person
    abject submission; the emotional equivalent of prostrating your body
    the act of obeying meanly (especially obeying in a humble manner or for unworthy reasons)
    type of:
    group action
    action taken by a group of people
  2. noun
    a disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others
    synonyms: complaisance, compliancy, deference, obligingness
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    type of:
    agreeability, agreeableness
    a temperamental disposition to be agreeable
  3. noun
    acting according to certain accepted standards
    synonyms: abidance, conformation, conformity
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    disobedience, noncompliance
    the failure to obey
    nonconformance, nonconformity
    failure to conform to accepted standards of behavior
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    compliance with formal rules
    acting in conformity
    honoring, observance
    conformity with law or custom or practice etc.
    conformity or harmony
    strict observance of formalities
    type of:
    joint operation or action
Word Family