ad·​here | \ ad-ˈhir How to pronounce adhere (audio) , əd- \
adhered; adhering

Definition of adhere

intransitive verb

1 : to hold fast or stick by or as if by gluing, suction, grasping, or fusing The stamp failed to adhere to the envelope.
2 : to give support or maintain loyalty adhere to traditional values
3 : to bind oneself to observance adhere to the rules

transitive verb

: to cause to stick fast The paper had been adhered to the wall.

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Synonyms for adhere


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stick, adhere, cohere, cling, cleave mean to become closely attached. stick implies attachment by affixing or by being glued together. couldn't get the label to stick adhere is often interchangeable with stick but sometimes implies a growing together. antibodies adhering to a virus cohere suggests a sticking together of parts so that they form a unified mass. eggs will make the mixture cohere cling implies attachment by hanging on with arms or tendrils. clinging to a capsized boat cleave stresses strength of attachment. the wet shirt cleaved to his back

Examples of adhere in a Sentence

The stamp failed to adhere. everyone started calling her “Cookie” when she was little and the name adhered
Recent Examples on the Web What are your thoughts on this, and do a lot of widows adhere to this practice? Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Widow he met on dating site says sex is off the table," 4 Aug. 2020 More than 1 million South Koreans have signed a petition calling for Lee's church to be dissolved over its failure to adhere to restrictions installed by the South Korean government. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "Church leader linked to wave of coronavirus infections arrested in South Korea," 1 Aug. 2020 With fewer traditions to adhere to, networks also expect this year could auger changes in how convention coverage looks in the future. David Bauder, Star Tribune, "For TV heads and viewers, conventions are largely a mystery," 29 July 2020 Many of the country’s students will diligently adhere to schools’ new requirements, while many won’t. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "Will Kids Follow the New Pandemic Rules at School?," 29 July 2020 That doesn't mean every dealership will adhere to this. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Getting a Toyota RAV4 Prime This Year Will Be Tough," 10 July 2020 The activity is being held in conjunction with Flow Yoga Studio and will adhere to social-distancing measures. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Yoga on the Lawn, happy hour set at Rustic Grill," 17 June 2020 There will not be fans at the races and all race team members will have to adhere to NASCAR's guidelines, which include on-site testing, mask-wearing, distancing and sanitary precautions. Jason Hoffman,, "NASCAR returns to Kentucky Speedway with four-race schedule in July," 4 June 2020 The Monroe County Tourist Development Council made clear on its website that visitors must adhere to health guidelines related to the coronavirus. Curt Anderson And Lynne Sladky, USA TODAY, "Florida Keys reopen to visitors after devastating coronavirus shutdown; Miami-area beaches closed," 1 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adhere.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adhere

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2

History and Etymology for adhere

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French adhérer, going back to Old French ahérer, borrowed from Latin adhaerēre "to cling, stick (to), attach oneself, keep close (to a person)," from ad- ad- + haerēre "to be closely attached, stick" — more at hesitate

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Time Traveler for adhere

Time Traveler

The first known use of adhere was in the 15th century

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Statistics for adhere

Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adhere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for adhere


How to pronounce adhere (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of adhere

: to stick to something : to attach firmly to something


ad·​here | \ ad-ˈhir How to pronounce adhere (audio) \
adhered; adhering

Kids Definition of adhere

1 : to stick tight : cling The stamps adhered to the envelope.
2 : to act in the way that is required by adhere to the rules


ad·​here | \ ad-ˈhi(ə)r, əd- How to pronounce adhere (audio) \
adhered; adhering

Medical Definition of adhere

intransitive verb

1 : to hold fast or stick by or as if by gluing, suction, grasping, or fusing a gauze bandage adhering to the wound
2 : to become joined (as in pathological adhesion) the lung sometimes adheres to the pleura

transitive verb

: to cause to stick fast

Other Words from adhere

adherence \ -​ˈhir-​ən(t)s How to pronounce adherence (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on adhere

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adhere

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adhere

Spanish Central: Translation of adhere

Nglish: Translation of adhere for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adhere for Arabic Speakers

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