co·​here | \kō-ˈhir \
cohered; cohering

Definition of cohere 

intransitive verb

1a : to hold together firmly as parts of the same mass broadly : stick, adhere

b : to display cohesion of plant parts

2 : to hold together as a mass of parts that cohere

3a : to become united in principles, relationships, or interests

b : to be logically or aesthetically consistent

transitive verb

: to cause (parts or components) to cohere

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Choose the Right Synonym for cohere

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

Cohere vs Adhere

When you finish writing a paper, you may feel that it coheres well, since it's sharply focused and all the ideas seem to support each other. When all the soldiers in an army platoon feel like buddies, the platoon has become a cohesive unit. In science class you may learn the difference between cohesion (the tendency of a chemical's molecules to stick together) and adhesion (the tendency of the molecules of two different substances to stick together). Water molecules tend to cohere, so water falls from the sky in drops, not as separate molecules. But water molecules also adhere to molecules of other substances, so raindrops will often cling to the underside of a clothesline for a while before gravity pulls them down.

Examples of cohere in a Sentence

the account in his journal coheres with the official report of the battle beset by personal animosities, the people of the neighborhood could not cohere into an effective civic association

Recent Examples on the Web

In this meshing of Phillips as writer and Rhys as subject all the great themes of Phillips’s fiction cohere in the difficult, dislocated, lonely life of Gwen Williams. New York Times, "Two Writers Haunted by Their Caribbean Past," 22 June 2018 Turbojugend exemplify the idea of music fandoms as organized groups that cohere around a particular band or artist. Nancy Baym, WIRED, "Book Excerpt: How Music Fans Built the Internet," 10 July 2018 Here again the back story is key — the piece, according to the composer’s telling, is assembled out of fragments that had refused to cohere. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco Symphony does right by little-known Prokofiev," 4 May 2018 But the thin storyline takes a back seat to the rich language on display; like many a jazz composition, Paradise Blue doesn't cohere very well, but there are some dazzling solos. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Paradise Blue': Theater Review," 15 May 2018 Once in a while, a certain cognitive fog clears and the obvious finally coheres for the dope who should’ve caught on sooner. Katie Arnold-ratliff, The Cut, "The Engagement Ring I Was Going to Buy Anyway," 10 Apr. 2018 Taken as a whole, however, the reading was ill-balanced and failed to cohere. John Von Rhein,, "Review: John Malkovich's wan narration disappoints in CSO reading of 'Lincoln Portrait'," 13 Apr. 2018 The result coheres into a pleasing whole piece of theater that never succumbs to the gimmick of its structure. Theodore P. Mahne,, "'Stranger Disease' vividly brings history to life at Madame John's Legacy," 26 Mar. 2018 As performed by four strong dancers, a vivid succession of scenes emerge that indicate emotional possibility but then do not develop or cohere. Irene Hsiao, Chicago Reader, "Lie Through My Skin attempts to confront the shame of white privilege," 21 Mar. 2018

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

1598, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for cohere

borrowed from Latin cohaerēre "to stick together, be in contact with, be connected," from co- co- + haerēre "to be closely attached, stick," going back to a stem *hais-, of obscure origin

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Learn More about cohere

Statistics for cohere

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cohere

The first known use of cohere was in 1598

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English Language Learners Definition of cohere

: to be combined or united in a logical and effective way

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Comments on cohere

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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