co·​a·​lesce ˌkō-ə-ˈles How to pronounce coalesce (audio)
coalesced; coalescing

intransitive verb

: to grow together
The edges of the wound coalesced.
: to unite into a whole : fuse
separate townships have coalesced into a single, sprawling colonyDonald Gould
: to unite for a common end : join forces
people with different points of view coalesce into opposing factionsI. L. Horowitz
: to arise from the combination of distinct elements
an organized and a popular resistance immediately coalescedC. C. Menges

transitive verb

: to cause to unite
sometimes a book coalesces a public into a mass marketWalter Meade
coalescence noun
coalescent adjective

Did you know?

The meaning of many English words equals the sum of their parts, and coalesce is a fitting example. The word unites the prefix co- (“together”) and the Latin verb alescere, meaning “to grow.” Coalesce is one of a number of English verbs (along with mix, commingle, merge, and amalgamate) that refer to the act of combining parts into a whole. In particular, coalesce usually implies the merging of similar parts to form a cohesive unit, such as a political ideology, a fan-following, or (perish the thought) a Portuguese man-of-war, the body of which includes three types of zooids.

Choose the Right Synonym for coalesce

mix, mingle, commingle, blend, merge, coalesce, amalgamate, fuse mean to combine into a more or less uniform whole.

mix may or may not imply loss of each element's identity.

mix the salad greens
mix a drink

mingle usually suggests that the elements are still somewhat distinguishable or separately active.

fear mingled with anticipation in my mind

commingle implies a closer or more thorough mingling.

a sense of duty commingled with a fierce pride drove her

blend implies that the elements as such disappear in the resulting mixture.

blended several teas to create a balanced flavor

merge suggests a combining in which one or more elements are lost in the whole.

in his mind reality and fantasy merged

coalesce implies an affinity in the merging elements and usually a resulting organic unity.

telling details that coalesce into a striking portrait

amalgamate implies the forming of a close union without complete loss of individual identities.

refugees who were readily amalgamated into the community

fuse stresses oneness and indissolubility of the resulting product.

a building in which modernism and classicism are fused

Examples of coalesce in a Sentence

a group of young reformers who gradually coalesced into a political movement The ice masses coalesced into a glacier over time.
Recent Examples on the Web And this is because Red Hat was also a very early entrant, it’s been around a long time, and so people have kind of coalesced around it in many ways. IEEE Spectrum, 15 Nov. 2023 Now, for the first time, a wave of regulation and moves by tech companies are coalescing in a more concerted effort to turn the tide. Stuart A. Thompson, New York Times, 13 Nov. 2023 More than 100 statehouse races are officially contested, but attention and resources have coalesced on a handful of the most competitive seats — nearly all of which are located in just a few swingy pockets of the commonwealth. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2023 Which candidates might voters coalesce around, and would this threaten Trump's lead? Kabir Khanna, CBS News, 6 Nov. 2023 As expected, Democrats have since coalesced around the front-runner. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Nov. 2023 This collision left behind a swarm of planetary debris, which coalesced in Earth’s orbit to create the moon. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Oct. 2023 The vaporous color in Nancy Evans’ luxurious paintings seems to be coalescing into fragile evocations of nature (Arthur Dove gets an oblique nod). Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 3 Oct. 2023 An activist group called Arizona Water Defenders formed in response, gradually coalescing around a plan to pass a ballot referendum that would establish a regulatory apparatus known as an Active Management Area, or AMA, over groundwater in the Sulphur Springs Valley. Kyle Paoletta, The New Republic, 30 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coalesce.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin coalescere, from co- + alescere to grow — more at old

First Known Use

circa 1541, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of coalesce was circa 1541


Dictionary Entries Near coalesce

Cite this Entry

“Coalesce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


coalesced; coalescing
: to grow together
the ends of the broken bones coalesced
: to unite into a whole : fuse

Medical Definition


intransitive verb
co·​alesce ˌkō-ə-ˈles How to pronounce coalesce (audio)
coalesced; coalescing
: to grow together
coalescence noun

More from Merriam-Webster on coalesce

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