Definition of adherent 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: one who adheres to something: such as

a : a follower of a leader, party, or profession Freud's adherents

b : a believer in or advocate especially of a particular idea or church adherents of Chrisitianity adherents of socialism


ad·​her·​ent | \ad-ˈhir-ənt, əd-\

Definition of adherent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : able or tending to adhere an adherent material

2 : connected or associated with especially by contract nations adherent to the treaty

3 : adnate

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Other Words from adherent


adherently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for adherent

Synonyms: Noun

acolyte, convert, disciple, epigone, follower, liege man, partisan (also partizan), pupil, votarist, votary

Synonyms: Adjective

adhesive, clingy, gluey, glutinous, gummy, sticky, tacky, tenacious, viscid

Antonyms: Noun

coryphaeus, leader

Antonyms: Adjective


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Choose the Right Synonym for adherent


follower, adherent, disciple, partisan mean one who gives full loyalty and support to another. follower may apply to people who attach themselves either to the person or beliefs of another. an evangelist and his followers adherent suggests a close and persistent attachment. adherents to Marxism disciple implies a devoted allegiance to the teachings of one chosen as a master. disciples of Gandhi partisan suggests a zealous often prejudiced attachment. partisans of the President

Stick With Adherent

Just as tape adheres to paper, a person may adhere to a cause, a faith, or a belief. Thus, you may be an adherent of Hinduism, an adherent of environmentalism, or an adherent of the Republican Party. A plan for cutting taxes always attracts adherents easily, regardless of what the cuts may result in.

Examples of adherent in a Sentence


an adherent of free trade the Flat Earth Society surely doesn't have many adherents


the bandage is made from a mildly adherent fiber
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Specifically, lagom adherents never let good leftovers go to waste. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, SELF, "The 8 Best Lessons I Learned Living the Lagom Life," 31 Oct. 2018 Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Planet Pix/ZUMA PRESS Few foreigners display the devotion of Mr. Monson, a longtime adherent of socialism and anarchism whose many tattoos include a hammer and sickle. James Marson, WSJ, "An American Heavyweight Infiltrates Russian Politics—and the Russians Are All for It," 30 Sep. 2018 Pope Francis’ pursuit of the deal reflects his desire for better relations with China—where Christianity is growing fast, though most new adherents are Protestants—and an end to divisions among Catholics there. Eva Dou, WSJ, "China and Vatican to Sign Landmark Deal Over Bishops," 14 Sep. 2018 Kenneth Copeland, another prosperity gospel adherent who has appeared on-screen with Duplantis, announced his ministry had purchased a Gulfstream V jet that probably cost millions. Washington Post,, "Televangelist wants his followers to pay for a $54-million private jet. It would be his fourth plane," 30 May 2018 Kenneth Copeland, another prosperity gospel adherent who has appeared on-screen with Duplantis, announced his ministry had purchased a Gulfstream V jet that likely cost millions. Cleve R. Wootson Jr.,, "Televangelist with three planes wants followers to pay for a $54 million private jet," 29 May 2018 The appeal of the strongman is not new and has enticed adherents throughout history. Chito Gascon, Time, "What the Philippines Tells Us About the Broken Promises of Human Rights," 30 May 2018 Iran backs the Houthis, who are adherents of a branch of Shiite Islam. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "5 Things to Know About the Yemeni Assault on the Country’s Main Port," 14 June 2018 Dates are also popular among adherents of paleo and other diets that don’t allow traditional sweeteners. Tara Duggan,, "Doctor drops UCSF post for a career in dates," 20 June 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adherent


Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin adhaerent-, adhaerens, going back to Latin, present participle of adhaerēre "to adhere"


Middle English aherdaunt, adherent, borrowed from Anglo-French aheirdant, going back to Latin adhaerent-, adhaerens, present participle of adhaerēre "to adhere"

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adhere to



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Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for adherent

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

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English Language Learners Definition of adherent

: a person who is loyal to a leader, group, or religion : a person who adheres to or supports a system or set of principles


ad·​her·​ent | \ad-ˈhir-ənt \

Kids Definition of adherent

: a person who is loyal to a belief, an organization, or a leader

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More from Merriam-Webster on adherent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adherent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adherent

Spanish Central: Translation of adherent

Nglish: Translation of adherent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adherent for Arabic Speakers

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to enclose within walls

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