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


cleave, cling, hew, stick

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Choose the Right Synonym for adhere

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

The 50s, a busy north-south line connecting residential areas to major commercial centers and downtown, adhered to headways and schedules in the mid-60 percent range. Washington Post, "New report card gives Metrobus service in the District a failing grade," 10 July 2019 Instead, Hoosiers should be aware that getting sick is still a possibility and adhere to the following health tips to stay healthy: Do not let individuals with diarrhea swim or use public pools. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Here's every Indiana county where poop-borne parasite Cryptosporidiosis has been reported," 9 July 2019 Such ventures require time and care, the kind that seldom comes from rigidly adhering to a release schedule designed to ensure that Disney can steadily push out consumer products and ensure that its shareholders are the happiest on Earth. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Spider-Man' flies high, but Marvel should slow its post-'Endgame' roll," 8 July 2019 European signatories to the nuclear agreement have found themselves in a difficult position, stuck between adhering to the US sanctions that target Iran’s oil industry and obligations to ease the economic burden on Iran under the nuclear deal. Megan Specia,, "Iran says it has surpassed critical nuclear enrichment limit in 2015 accord," 8 July 2019 The danger of adhering to such a strict fiscal deficit target is that important expenditures will face cuts, more so if revenue targets are not met. Rahul Menon, Quartz India, "The Modi government wants a $5 trillion economy by 2024, but has done little to back it," 8 July 2019 These were paste-overs, adhered with rubber cement. Angela Hill, The Mercury News, "John Law, iconic Bay Area prankster, now has his own ‘art’ show," 5 July 2019 Stated differently, adhering to rules could prove franchise-damaging. Michael Mccann,, "Could Teams Clearly Ignoring Free Agency Tampering Rules Be a Problem for NBA?," 1 July 2019 Others may have separate agendas, which may or may not align with yours, so adhere to your own standards and objectives. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope for June 25, 2019: Pisces, your past has given you wisdom and grit; Aquarius, march to your own beat," 25 June 2019

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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Statistics for adhere

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adhere

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

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More Definitions for adhere



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adhere

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adhere

Spanish Central: Translation of adhere

Nglish: Translation of adhere for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adhere for Arabic Speakers

Comments on adhere

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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