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 Cross-Industry Leaders Unite Behind Saudi's Visionary Agenda The FII Miami Summit delivered a rare blend of perspectives from leaders across the public and private sectors, coalescing around the kingdom’s strategic roadmap for diversifying its economy and deploying capital in innovative ways. Mark Minevich, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 Democrats were too divided on immigration to coalesce around a bill of their own, let alone to pass one. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2024 This foundation of responsibility, resilience, and learning coalesces into Stone’s unique executive persona - exuding a calm authority blended with humble dynamism. Chris Gallagher, USA TODAY, 24 Jan. 2024 The free-floating agony of Lorna’s visions coalesce around cold, hard facts, and the murder mysteries take a backseat to the larger conspiracy that links them — so much that by the time the killers are revealed in the finale, the answers register almost as afterthoughts. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Jan. 2024 Alternatively, Mimas may have formed on the order of 100 million years ago, around the time Saturn’s rings coalesced—or perhaps Mimas is as venerable as Saturn itself. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, 7 Feb. 2024 It is potentially made of the same material that coalesced into our solar system over 4.5 billion years ago. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 29 Jan. 2024 Nikki Haley vowed to stay in the Republican presidential primary race at least through Super Tuesday while chiding a tabled plan by the Republican National Committee that called for the party to coalesce around Donald Trump. Christian Hall, Fortune, 28 Jan. 2024 Its fans coalesced around a snippet of audio posted by Kayla Trivieri that has since been used as the soundtrack to more than 2,000 other videos. Callie Holtermann, New York Times, 28 Jan. 2024 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 4 Mar. 2024.

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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