co·​here | \ kō-ˈhir How to pronounce cohere (audio) \
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 Biden’s policy ideas have not cohered into any distinctive theme. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "Can Joe Biden Remind Democrats What They Saw in Him?," 12 Sep. 2019 The task of proponents of unionism has been to find some ways of causing the nation to cohere while also respecting the role of individual and communal difference. Fred Bauer, National Review, "What the Nationalism vs. Liberalism Debate Misses," 28 Aug. 2019 By framing the new special around his personal story, and also trimming and refining some weak spots, his act now coheres, taking on a new force and clarity, one that represents his finest, boldest and probably most polarizing work. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Aziz Ansari Addresses Sexual Misconduct Accusation in ‘Right Now’," 9 July 2019 But the story never coheres, and the climactic showdown with the xenomorph is impossible to follow. Keith Phipps, The Verge, "How William Gibson’s long-lost Alien 3 script became 2019’s most intriguing audio drama," 24 June 2019 But over the course of the year, Peart settled into his new position, improved his play and became more vocal with his teammates, as the O-line cohered into a strength for the team. Alex Putterman,, "The one who stayed: Fifth-year senior Matt Peart irreplaceable as UConn team leader," 19 July 2019 Again, the books don’t cohere around any particular topic; many are simple fiction. Natalie Wexler, The Atlantic, "Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong," 9 July 2019 In fact, many of the garments on view, their labels tell us, have appeared in numerous shows on various subjects, attesting to the multiple meanings that can cohere in one piece. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, "‘Exhibitionism: 50 Years of The Museum at FIT’ Review: Fashion History Hits the Runway," 12 Feb. 2019 The fonts are clean, the drop shadows are consistent, and everything just coheres really well. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Lenovo Smart Display review: the Google appliance," 26 July 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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Statistics for cohere

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for cohere

The first known use of cohere was in 1598

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More Definitions for cohere


How to pronounce cohere (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cohere

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on cohere

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cohere

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cohere

Spanish Central: Translation of cohere

Nglish: Translation of cohere for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cohere for Arabic Speakers

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