adhere

verb

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

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
4

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

The stamp failed to adhere. everyone started calling her “Cookie” when she was little and the name adhered
Recent Examples on the Web Parents who live separately but still raise children together still adhere to this scripture by communicating and working to raise children with love. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 10 Nov. 2022 But this top doesn’t adhere to the typical pattern of a button-up blouse, for its construction is much more relaxed and updated (in true Frankie fashion). Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2022 To, somehow, adhere to Saban's rule about turning the page on games just played after 24 hours. Chase Goodbread, USA TODAY, 7 Nov. 2022 Sanding the tiles will give the paint something to adhere to, especially for high-gloss tiles. Nafeesah Allen, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Nov. 2022 The offshore sports betting sites will not necessarily adhere to the same high standards. Sam Wilkins, Chicago Tribune, 29 Sep. 2022 In their performances these characters adhere faithfully to Morissette’s beloved vocal idiosyncrasies. Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2022 Tie the shorter ribbon into a bow; adhere to the base of the pinecone, as shown. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, 14 Sep. 2022 Still, most cities in Alabama adhere to the mayor-council format. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, 13 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near adhere

Cite this Entry

“Adhere.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adhere. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

adhere

verb

ad·​here ad-ˈhi(ə)r How to pronounce adhere (audio)
əd-
adhered; adhering
1
: to stay loyal (as to a cause or promise)
2
: to stick by or as if by gluing, suction, grasping, or melting
3
: to agree to observe
adhere to the rules

Medical Definition

adhere

verb

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

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
adherence noun

More from Merriam-Webster on adhere

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