adhesive

adjective
ad·​he·​sive | \ -ˈhē-siv How to pronounce adhesive (audio) , -ziv\

Definition of adhesive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : tending to remain in association or memory
2 : tending to adhere or cause adherence
3 : prepared for adhering
4 medical : characterized by the formation of new fibrous tissue resulting from an inflammatory process adhesive inflammations

adhesive

noun

Definition of adhesive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an adhesive substance (such as glue or cement)
2 : a postage stamp with a gummed back

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from adhesive

Adjective

adhesively adverb
adhesiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for adhesive

Synonyms: Adjective

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

Synonyms: Noun

bond, cement, glue, size

Antonyms: Adjective

nonadhesive

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of adhesive in a Sentence

Adjective

Cover the cut with an adhesive bandage. walked barefoot through adhesive, clayey mud

Noun

You'll need a strong adhesive to attach the boards. prefers postage stamps coated with adhesive so that she doesn't have to do any licking
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Use adhesive silk screens and acrylic paint for highly detailed lace and botanical designs. Erin Francois, House Beautiful, "Blogger Sneak Peek: Hand-Painted Blue & White Plates," 3 Feb. 2015 The hole is filled with a waxy adhesive to hold the weight in place and then covered in D-C-Fix, an adhesive film. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make a Simple Yet Sophisticated Chess Set," 27 July 2016 Spray the stencil with adhesive spray and cover with glitter. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "If You're Not Throwing a Pumpkin-Painting D.I.Wine Night, You're Missing Out," 5 Oct. 2018 Some, from sites like Room 422 and Dorm Decor, even come equipped with adhesive hooks or Velcro, and built-in charging stations. Michelle Higgins, The Seattle Times, "How to dress up a dorm room," 25 Sep. 2018 Perricone compares the texture of the eye cream to that of an eraser — balmy and slightly adhesive. Sarah Kinonen, Allure, "Perricone MD Launches Essential Fx Skin-Care Line With Vitamin F," 9 Aug. 2018 These days, a typical week’s worth of trash might contain a receipt or two, fruit stickers, a wine-bottle cap, a label, an adhesive bandage and some packing tape. Victoria Adams Fogg, Washington Post, "She cut her weekly trash down so much it fits in an unbelievably small jar," 7 July 2018 Blue rubber mulch slopes upward from the pool, extending the yard’s clean ultramarine look, all accentuated by aggregate coated with gray non-slip adhesive paint. R. Daniel Foster, latimes.com, "Before and After: A reimagined Midcentury design helps turn a home from frumpy to fabulous," 6 July 2018 The retaliation list reportedly includes duties worth over 18 billion euro ($21.07 billion), on items such as frozen fish, raisins, suitcases, and adhesive bandages. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "The EU Is Preparing New Tariffs to Strike Back in Its Trade War With Trump—Ketchup, Beware," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Go for a heavy duty adhesive, so your cap stays put through the whole ceremony. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Here's How to Wear a Graduation Cap With Natural Hair," 9 Apr. 2019 Without enough practice, the black version of the adhesive can be really, really messy. Jillian Ruffo, Glamour, "I Tried DIY Eyelash Extensions For A Month And Called It Quits With Mascara," 3 Jan. 2019 These should make the batteries easier to remove, but unfortunately the batteries are also secured with an adhesive that eliminates any ease of removal brought back by the pull tabs. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Tinkerers, repair shops will have mixed feelings about this iPad Pro teardown," 12 Nov. 2018 The maker of Post-it Notes and industrial adhesives beat revenue and profit expectations in its fourth quarter, as higher prices and volume offset rising costs due to tariffs and other factors. Austen Hufford, WSJ, "3M Lowers Profit Outlook for 2019," 29 Jan. 2019 Early this month, Ford filed a patent to reduce the odor of some of the adhesive, leather, and other materials that produce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that contribute to new car smell. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Chinese customers hate “new car smell,” so Ford files a patent to bake it out," 20 Nov. 2018 Second, the molecular makeup of plastic wrap — a polyethylene with additional adhesives — changes when it's exposed to a different climate. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Storing Plastic Wrap in the Freezer Makes It WAY Easier to Handle," 31 Oct. 2018 To turn the adhesive off, Phillips and Kim applied fluoride to the edges of two microscopic glass slides stuck together, and the glass slides fell apart within minutes. Xiaozhi Lim, The Seattle Times, "Chemists in search of their Holy Grail: a plastic designed to die," 6 Aug. 2018 They're each applied with the special glue, which is similar to (but not nearly as strong as) the adhesive used for in-salon extensions. Jillian Ruffo, Glamour, "I Tried DIY Eyelash Extensions For A Month And Called It Quits With Mascara," 3 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adhesive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of adhesive

Adjective

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adhesive

Adjective

borrowed from Medieval Latin adhaesīvus, from Latin adhaesus (past participle of adhaerēre "to adhere") + -īvus -ive

Noun

derivative of adhesive entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about adhesive

Statistics for adhesive

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adhesive

The first known use of adhesive was in 1661

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for adhesive

adhesive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of adhesive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: designed to stick to something

adhesive

noun

English Language Learners Definition of adhesive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance (such as glue or cement) that is used to make things stick together

adhesive

adjective
ad·​he·​sive | \ ad-ˈhē-siv How to pronounce adhesive (audio) , -ziv\

Kids Definition of adhesive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: tending to stick : sticky adhesive bandages

adhesive

noun

Kids Definition of adhesive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance that is used to make things stick together

adhesive

adjective
ad·​he·​sive | \ -ˈhē-siv How to pronounce adhesive (audio) , -ziv How to pronounce adhesive (audio) \

Medical Definition of adhesive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : tending to adhere or cause adherence adhesive resins
b : prepared for adhering an adhesive bandage
2 : characterized by adhesions adhesive inflammation

Other Words from adhesive

adhesively adverb

adhesive

noun

Medical Definition of adhesive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an adhesive substance especially : a substance (as glue, starch, paste, or mucilage) that bonds two materials together by adhering to the surface of each

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on adhesive

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

WORD OF THE DAY

highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!