ad·her·ence | \ -ˈhir-ən(t)s \

Definition of adherence 

1 : the act, action, or quality of adhering adherence of paint to wood

2 : steady or faithful attachment : fidelity adherence to a political party

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Examples of adherence in a Sentence

you'd think these refrigerator magnets would have better adherence—they fall off every time I open the door adherence to convention requires that the couple send out formal wedding invitations

Recent Examples on the Web

Rising educational opportunities usually — but not always — are associated with lower levels of religious adherence. Yonat Shimron, Houston Chronicle, "Younger adults are less religious, and not only in the U.S.," 16 June 2018 In the process, Holt shook the state’s staid political mindset, proving that map-drawing wasn’t difficult – if, that is, the goal is adherence to law and fairness to voters rather than protecting partisanship. John Baer,, "Want less gerrymandering? Bring back Amanda Holt | John Baer," 12 Feb. 2018 Some ultrarunners are known for their religious adherence to a strict diet filled with high-quality calories and performance-boosting ingredients. Carly Graf, Outside Online, "What Karl Meltzer Eats Before an Ultra," 5 July 2018 What Mickelson did will be unforgivable to many who love the game for its strict adherence to rules and gentlemanly ethics. Tod Leonard,, "Mickelson made dumb decision, but USGA's U.S. Open setup is a joke," 16 June 2018 Because of this strict adherence to preserving its aesthetic, Evans said the neighborhood has been able to avoid overbuilding. Scott Garner,, "Neighborhood Spotlight: San Marino's exclusivity was always the plan," 23 Mar. 2018 But disputes over the rules, and questions about adherence, may raise doubts about whether the price is justified. Candice Choi,, "With disputes over labeling rules and questionable practices, is buying 'organic' worth it?," 11 July 2018 Since China is responsible for 90 percent of North Korea’s foreign trade, Beijing’s adherence to any economic sanctions is crucial for such pressure to succeed. Gardiner Harris, New York Times, "Pompeo Sharpens Tone on North Korea: ‘The World Is a Gangster’," 8 July 2018 Poor drug adherence is a major problem in the United States, according to a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine., "Amazon to buy Somerville online pharmacy startup PillPack," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adherence.' 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 adherence

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for adherence

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French adherance, aerdaunce, aherdance "act of adhering, faction, supporters," borrowed from Medieval Latin adhaerentia, going back to Late Latin, "act of adhering," derivative of Latin adhaerent-, adhaerens, present participle of adhaerēre "to adhere"

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Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for adherence

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

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More Definitions for adherence



English Language Learners Definition of adherence

: the act of adhering; especially : the act of doing what is required by a rule, belief, etc.


ad·her·ence | \ ad-ˈhir-əns \

Kids Definition of adherence

: the act of doing what is required by adherence to the terms of a contract

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Comments on adherence

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


the setting in which something occurs

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