ad·​he·​sion | \ ad-ˈhē-zhən How to pronounce adhesion (audio) , əd-\

Definition of adhesion

1 : steady or firm attachment : adherence
2 : the action or state of adhering
3 : the abnormal union of separate tissue surfaces by new fibrous tissue resulting from an inflammatory process also : the newly formed uniting tissue
4 : agreement to join adhesion of all nations to a copyright convention
5 : the molecular attraction exerted between the surfaces of bodies in contact

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Other Words from adhesion

adhesional \ -​ˈhēzh-​nəl How to pronounce adhesional (audio) , -​ˈhē-​zhə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for adhesion


adherence, bonding, cling



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Examples of adhesion in a Sentence

the adhesion of the coating the adhesion of the mud to my shoes

Recent Examples on the Web

In Manning’s experiments, greater adhesion, or stickiness, between cells led to less jamming — the opposite of what Campàs’s group observed. Quanta Magazine, "‘Traffic Jams’ of Cells Help to Sculpt Embryos," 27 Sep. 2018 My entire pelvis was virtually fused together by the adhesions. Azmia Magane, Allure, "The Importance of Listening to Your Body — Even When Doctors Aren't Listening to You," 8 Apr. 2019 Specifically, today there are a ton of paste options optimized for both adhesion and easier removal. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "How to Remove Wallpaper In 4 Easy Steps," 12 Mar. 2019 Surface tension occurs because water molecules tend to stick to each other (molecular adhesion), forming a kind of supportive film to keep very light creatures afloat. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Geckos’ new superpower is running on water; now we know how they do it," 6 Dec. 2018 Once a helmet hits age five, the glue holding it all together loses adhesion and hurts its ability to absorb impact. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "How I Found My Favorite Motorcycle Helmet," 9 Nov. 2018 Laparoscopy is performed to examine the abdominal wall or the female pelvic organs and diagnose problems such as cysts, adhesions, fibroids, endometriosis, or infections that might be impacting ovulation or implantation. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "Health & Fitness," 1 Oct. 2018 During surgery, the lesions and adhesions were removed. Sarah Hosseini, Good Housekeeping, "Just Because You Can't See My Endometriosis Doesn't Mean It's Not There," 12 Mar. 2016 Occasionally, these adhesions can block the intestines and require additional surgery. Amanda Macmillan,, "12 Reasons You Might Have Cramps That Have Nothing to Do With Your Period," 27 Mar. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adhesion

borrowed from French or Latin; French adhésion, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Latin adhaesiōn-, adhaesiō, from adhaes-, variant stem of adhaerēre "to adhere" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns (expected *adhaestiō presumably simplified to adhaesiō by analogy)

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Statistics for adhesion

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for adhesion

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

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More Definitions for adhesion



English Language Learners Definition of adhesion

: the act of adhering especially : the act of sticking or attaching to something
medical : a condition in which body tissues that are supposed to be separate grow together because of swelling after surgery


ad·​he·​sion | \ ad-ˈhē-zhən How to pronounce adhesion (audio) \

Kids Definition of adhesion

: the act or state of sticking They tested the adhesion of the paint to the wall.


ad·​he·​sion | \ ad-ˈhē-zhən, əd- How to pronounce adhesion (audio) \

Medical Definition of adhesion

1 : the action or state of adhering specifically : a sticking together of substances (as of glue and wood or of parts united by growth)
2a : the abnormal union of surfaces normally separate by the formation of new fibrous tissue resulting from an inflammatory process also : the newly formed uniting tissue pleural adhesions
b : the union of wound edges especially by first intention
3 : the molecular attraction exerted between the surfaces of bodies in contact — compare cohesion sense 2

Other Words from adhesion

adhesional \ -​ˈhēzh-​nəl, -​ˈhē-​zhən-​ᵊl How to pronounce adhesional (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on adhesion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adhesion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adhesion

Spanish Central: Translation of adhesion

Nglish: Translation of adhesion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adhesion for Arabic Speakers

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