mid-14c., confourmen, "be obedient (to God), comply," from Old French conformer "conform (to), agree (to), make or be similar, be agreeable" (13c.) and directly from Latin conformare "to fashion, to form, to shape; educate; modify," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + formare "to form" (see form (v.)).
Meaning "to make of the same form or character; bring into harmony, make agreeable," and intransitive sense of "act in accordance with an example" are from late 14c. Sense of "to comply with the usages of the Church of England" is from 1610s; hence conformist (1630s), opposed to non-conformist or dissenter. Related: Conformance; conformed; conforming.
updated on February 28, 2018