verb co·here \ kō-ˈhir \
|Updated on: 16 Jul 2018

Definition of cohere

cohered; cohering
1 a : 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
3 a : to become united in principles, relationships, or interests
b : to be logically or aesthetically consistent
: to cause (parts or components) to cohere

Examples of cohere in a Sentence

  1. the account in his journal coheres with the official report of the battle

  2. beset by personal animosities, the people of the neighborhood could not cohere into an effective civic association

Recent Examples of cohere from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Synonym Discussion of 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 Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of cohere for English Language Learners

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

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having an air of easy unconcern

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