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 Any adults on campus, including janitorial staff, construction workers, electricians and plumbers, will also adhere to the same testing protocols. Catherine Ho,, "How Bay Area schools plan to conduct coronavirus testing for students and staff," 10 Sep. 2020 The theaters hosting Brown's concert will adhere to CDC guidelines maintaining six feet between each vehicle. Tomás Mier,, "Kane Brown to Perform at Encore Drive-In Series — Screened at More Than 200 Theaters!," 9 Sep. 2020 Yet as the years after 1620 bore out, the migrants did not adhere to such principles when dealing with their Wampanoag and other Algonquian-speaking neighbors. Peter C. Mancall, The Conversation, "The complicated legacy of the Pilgrims is finally coming to light 400 years after they landed in Plymouth," 4 Sep. 2020 NRG Park will adhere to all CDC and Public Health guidelines regarding social distancing and face coverings. Houston Chronicle, "NRG Park will be voting site, headquarters for 2020 election," 31 Aug. 2020 The show will adhere to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as all state and local health mandates. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, "There's nothing virtual about Brian McKnight's drive-in concert. He's coming to Scottsdale," 29 Aug. 2020 These soft cushions adhere to the sides of an Apple Magic Mouse 1 & 2, giving it a large, concave surface on which to rest your fingers. Popular Science, "Need a new keyboard or mouse? Check out these deals from the PopSci Shop.," 29 Aug. 2020 Attendees must adhere to social distancing and wear masks when entering or walking around the venue. Susan Dunne,, "‘Strength is our motto’ for 5th annual 100 Women of Color Gala," 27 Aug. 2020 Depictions of the pharaoh and his family adhere to this new style, which is more languid and fluid than the iconic Egyptian style of dynasties past. National Geographic, "Anonymous artists invented ancient Egypt's iconic style," 27 Aug. 2020

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

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adhere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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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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