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 Those companies, who represent about 30% of the U.S. market, have now agreed to adhere to stricter emissions standards similar to the Obama plan, citing the need for more regulatory certainty. Cara Daggett, The Conversation, "Fight or switch? How the low-carbon transition is disrupting fossil fuel politics," 22 Nov. 2019 We were introduced to a new line of paint by our sister-in-law, which was claiming to be water-based and able to adhere to just about any surface. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Angelus Home & Garden in Walworth is a decor store with a flair for unique items," 14 Nov. 2019 Although county officials have said all diesel trucks used at Devil’s Gate Dam must adhere to 2010 emissions level standards, Krider said ensuring adherence is more difficult. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "With Devil’s Gate hauling set to resume, plans to test tailpipes progress," 25 Sep. 2019 They were also expected to adhere to Koch’s detailed safety policy. Christopher Leonard, ProPublica, "Rising Profits, Rising Injuries: The Safety Crisis at Koch Industries’ Georgia-Pacific," 8 Aug. 2019 Canadian sociologist Arshia Zaidi, author of a study of Pakistani women in the United States and Canada, finds that the younger generation has shifted away from the strict family obligations their parents and grandparents may have adhered to. Monica Haider, Teen Vogue, "How Young, American Muslims Are Dating and Finding Love in New York City," 30 July 2019 Failing to adhere to the limits could jeopardize the university’s ability to proceed with the future phases of the expansion. Maggie Angst, The Mercury News, "Santa Clara County doesn’t budge on housing requirements for Stanford’s expansion plans," 2 July 2019 If publications had adhered to that standard, the world never would have seen the photo of Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over Jeffrey Miller, fatally wounded by National Guard troops on the campus of Kent State University on May 4, 1970. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Northwestern University student paper apologizes for its protest coverage. Why?," 13 Nov. 2019 System testing only occurs at the end of the manufacturing process, and doesn’t ensure that vendors adhere to proper supply chain or cybersecurity controls during the development, programming, or deployment phases. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "The US government holds balloons to stricter standards than it does voting machines," 12 Nov. 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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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

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Adhere.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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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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