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Comply vs. Compliance: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 18, 2023
"Comply" is a verb meaning to act in accordance with a request or rule, while "compliance" is a noun referring to the act or state of complying.

Key Differences

Comply is a verb used to describe the act of conforming or adhering to a rule, standard, or demand. When one decides to follow a given set of instructions, they are choosing to comply. In contrast, compliance is the noun form of this action. It denotes the actual adherence or conformance to a rule or standard, often used in regulatory contexts to refer to meeting specific criteria.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023
When someone is instructed to do something, and they agree to do it, they are choosing to comply with the instruction. This action can be out of respect, fear, duty, or various other reasons. Compliance, on the other hand, goes beyond the immediate action. It encompasses the overall state or behavior of acting in accordance with requirements, standards, or regulations.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023
In many corporate or official settings, one may be required to comply with particular procedures or guidelines. Here, to comply means to act in a manner that aligns with these set procedures. Compliance in such settings would refer to the systematic practice or process ensuring that actions are consistently in line with the established rules or guidelines.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023
It's also worth noting that while one can choose to comply or not to comply (indicating an action or decision), compliance suggests a more established or sustained state. For instance, a person may comply with a request on one occasion, but consistent compliance means they are regularly meeting or exceeding the expected standards.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023
In summary, while both comply and compliance center around the concept of adhering to a rule or standard, comply is the action or decision to follow, and compliance is the state or process of following consistently.
Harlon Moss
Oct 18, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Verb
Noun
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Definition

To act in accordance with a request or rule
The act or state of acting in accordance with a request, rule, or regulation
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Usage Context

Individual actions or decisions
Systems, processes, or overall states
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Temporality

Often denotes a single or immediate act
Indicates a more sustained or established state
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Examples

Comply with a directive
Ensure compliance with regulations
Sara Rehman
Oct 18, 2023
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Comply and Compliance Definitions

Comply

To meet specific standards.
The product does not comply with safety guidelines.
Janet White
Oct 18, 2023

Compliance

A yielding nature or disposition.
Her compliance in difficult situations was admirable.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Comply

To act in a way that is desired by others.
The suspect complied with the officer's demands.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Compliance

The act of conforming to official standards or rules.
The company is in compliance with environmental laws.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 18, 2023

Comply

To obey another's command, request, or rule.
He complied with the instructions given.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Compliance

The state of being in agreement or accordance with a wish or command.
His actions showed compliance with the principal's directive.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 18, 2023

Comply

To act in accordance with another's command, request, rule, or wish
The patient complied with the physician's orders.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

The act of obeying; willingness to follow.
The strict compliance to the code is commendable.
Harlon Moss
Oct 18, 2023

Comply

(Obsolete) To be courteous or obedient.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

Submission or adaptability to a particular request or condition.
They showed compliance by adjusting the production process.
Harlon Moss
Oct 18, 2023

Comply

To yield assent; to accord; to acquiesce, agree, consent; to adapt oneself, to conform.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

The act of complying with a wish, request, or demand; acquiescence.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Comply

(archaic) To accomplish, to fulfil.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

(Medicine) Willingness to follow a prescribed course of treatment.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Comply

(archaic) To be ceremoniously courteous; to make one's compliments.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

A disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Comply

(archaic) To enfold; to embrace.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

Extension or displacement of a loaded structure per unit load.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Comply

To yield assent; to accord; agree, or acquiesce; to adapt one's self; to consent or conform; - usually followed by with.
Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply,Scandalous or forbidden in our law.
They did servilely comply with the people in worshiping God by sensible images.
He that complies against his willIs of his own opinion still.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

Flexibility.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Comply

To be ceremoniously courteous; to make one's compliments.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

An act of complying.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Comply

To fulfill; to accomplish.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

(uncountable) The state of being compliant.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Comply

To infold; to embrace.
Seemed to comply,Cloudlike, the daintie deitie.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

(uncountable) The tendency of conforming with or agreeing to the wishes of others.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Comply

Act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes;
He complied with my instructions
You must comply or else!
Follow these simple rules
Abide by the rules
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

(mechanics) A measure of the extension or displacement of a loaded structure; its flexibility
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Comply

To act according to an order, set of rules, or request.
She was asked to leave and she complied immediately.
Harlon Moss
Oct 18, 2023

Compliance

(medicine) The accuracy with which a patient follows an agreed treatment plan
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Comply

To agree tacitly or passively.
While he didn't say yes, he complied by not objecting.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Compliance

The department of a business that ensures all government regulations are complied with.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

The act of complying; a yielding; as to a desire, demand, or proposal; concession; submission.
What compliances will remove dissension?
Ready compliance with the wishes of his people.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

A disposition to yield to others; complaisance.
A man of few words and of great compliance.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

Acting according to certain accepted standards
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

Happy friendly agreement
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

A disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

Compliance

The act of submitting; usually surrendering power to another
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 25, 2023

FAQs

How is "compliance" used in a corporate context?

In corporations, "compliance" often refers to adhering to regulatory standards and guidelines.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

What does "comply" primarily mean?

"Comply" means to act in accordance with a request, rule, or regulation.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Can "comply" be used in everyday conversation?

Yes, "comply" can be used to refer to following any request or rule in daily scenarios.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Is "compliance" always about rules?

No, "compliance" can also refer to meeting certain standards or conditions.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 18, 2023

If someone doesn't "comply", what might that mean?

Not complying could mean refusal, inability, or neglect to follow a request or rule.
Harlon Moss
Oct 18, 2023

If someone follows a one-time instruction, did they comply?

Yes, following a one-time instruction means they chose to comply.
Harlon Moss
Oct 18, 2023

What's a synonym for "compliance" in a regulatory context?

"Adherence" is a synonym often used for regulatory compliance.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Can "compliance" be a personal trait?

Yes, it can refer to a person's disposition to yield or adapt, indicating agreeability.
Harlon Moss
Oct 18, 2023

Can "comply" be passive in nature?

Yes, one can comply by not acting or by tacit agreement.
Sara Rehman
Oct 18, 2023

Is "compliance" just about following rules?

While often about rules, "compliance" can also be about meeting standards, expectations, or conditions.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 18, 2023

How can "compliance" relate to health?

"Compliance" in health can refer to patients following medical advice or treatment plans.
Sara Rehman
Oct 18, 2023

Can "comply" be used in legal contexts?

Yes, to "comply" can mean to act according to legal requirements or court orders.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

How do "comply" and "obey" differ?

Both mean to follow rules or commands, but "comply" often has a more voluntary connotation.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Can a company claim "compliance" based on one instance of following rules?

No, "compliance" generally suggests a consistent state or behavior, not a single instance.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Is "compliance" always positive?

Not necessarily. Blind compliance, for instance, might be seen as negative if it lacks critical thinking.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Can a business have a "compliance" department?

Yes, many businesses have compliance departments to ensure they meet regulatory standards.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 18, 2023

Is "compliance" only a modern term?

No, while often used in modern regulatory contexts, "compliance" as a concept of adhering to standards or rules is age-old.
Sara Rehman
Oct 18, 2023

How might a teacher use "comply" in a classroom?

A teacher might ask students to comply with classroom rules or specific instructions.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 18, 2023

Can you "comply" without knowing it?

Yes, one can unintentionally comply with norms or unwritten rules.
Janet White
Oct 18, 2023

Is it correct to say, "comply to" or "comply with"?

It's usually "comply with" when referring to following rules or directives.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 18, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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