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verb, co·a·lesce \ˌkō-ə-ˈles\

Simple Definition of coalesce

  • : to come together to form one group or mass

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of coalesce


  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to grow together

  3. 2 a :  to unite into a whole :  fuse <separate townships have coalesced into a single, sprawling colony — Donald Gould> b :  to unite for a common end :  join forces <people with different points of view coalesce into opposing factions — I. L. Horowitz>

  4. 3 :  to arise from the combination of distinct elements <an organized and a popular resistance immediately coalesced — C. C. Menges>

  5. transitive verb
  6. :  to cause to unite <sometimes a book coalesces a public into a mass market — Walter Meade>

coalescence play \-ˈle-sən(t)s\ noun
coalescent play \-sənt\ adjective

Examples of coalesce in a sentence

  1. a group of young reformers who gradually coalesced into a political movement

  2. The ice masses coalesced into a glacier over time.

Did You Know?

Coalesce unites the prefix co- ("together") and the Latin verb alescere, meaning "to grow." (The words "adolescent" and "adult" also grew from "alescere.") "Coalesce," which first appeared in English in the mid-17th century, is one of a number of verbs in English (along with "mix," "commingle," "merge," and "amalgamate") that refer to the act of combining parts into a whole. In particular, "coalesce" usually implies the merging of similar parts to form a cohesive unit.

Origin of coalesce

Latin coalescere, from co- + alescere to grow — more at old

First Known Use: circa 1656

Synonym Discussion of coalesce

mix, mingle, commingle, blend, merge, coalesce, amalgamate, fuse mean to combine into a more or less uniform whole. mix may or may not imply loss of each element's identity <mix the salad greens> <mix a drink>. mingle usually suggests that the elements are still somewhat distinguishable or separately active <fear mingled with anticipation in my mind>. commingle implies a closer or more thorough mingling <a sense of duty commingled with a fierce pride drove her>. blend implies that the elements as such disappear in the resulting mixture <blended several teas to create a balanced flavor>. merge suggests a combining in which one or more elements are lost in the whole <in his mind reality and fantasy merged>. coalesce implies an affinity in the merging elements and usually a resulting organic unity <telling details that coalesce into a striking portrait>. amalgamate implies the forming of a close union without complete loss of individual identities <refugees who were readily amalgamated into the community>. fuse stresses oneness and indissolubility of the resulting product <a building in which modernism and classicism are fused>.

Medical Dictionary


intransitive verb co·alesce \ˌkō-ə-ˈles\

Medical Definition of coalesce

coalesced; coalescing

  1. :  to grow together

coalescence \-ˈles-ən(t)s\play noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up coalesce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to dishevel or rumple

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