co·​her·​ence | \kō-ˈhir-ən(t)s, -ˈher- \

Definition of coherence 

1 : the quality or state of cohering: such as

a : systematic or logical connection or consistency The essay as a whole lacks coherence.

b : integration of diverse elements, relationships, or values "The various parts of this house—discrete in color, in shape, in placement—join together with remarkable coherence."— Paul Goldberger

2 : the property of being coherent a plan that lacks coherence

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Examples of coherence in a Sentence

the house has been expanded and remodeled so many times that now it's a jumbled mess that lacks coherence

Recent Examples on the Web

The lack of coherence seems to have cost it significant voter support. Aytug Sasmaz, Washington Post, "Who really won Tunisia’s first democratic local elections?," 1 June 2018 And disparate state and local parties could also undermine national political coherence, a problem political scientists complained about once upon a time. Lee Drutman, Vox, "America has local political institutions but nationalized politics. This is a problem.," 31 May 2018 Clip-rich and coherence-poor, the film juxtaposes glimpses of that life with everything from income disparity, the Koch brothers and capitalist excess in Las Vegas to shots of the World Trade Center falling and shock and awe in Iraq. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The King’ Review: A Documentary That’s All Shook Up," 28 June 2018 At this point, there is no discipline and no coherence. . . Matt Viser,, "How leaving the N.K. summit could be part of Trump’s strategy," 24 May 2018 Unless someone can inject some coherence into Trump’s scattershot approach to Syria, a missile attack could do more harm than good. Trudy Rubin,, "Trump tweet on missile strike underscores the incoherence of his Syria policy | Trudy Rubin," 11 Apr. 2018 The eye scans had been conducted using a technique called optical coherence tomography. The Economist, "The eye's structure holds information about the health of the mind," 28 June 2018 The second key figure was the landscape architect and city planner Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. (not to be confused with his father), who brought aesthetic coherence and design principles to the White House grounds. Adrian Higgins, sacbee, "Historian’s got the dirt on what presidents used to grow," 1 June 2018 While there are flashes of brilliance to be found in the language (Williams at his worst can still put words together with an undying lyricism), director Austin Pendleton fails to bring any sense of coherence or vision to this work. Theodore P. Mahne,, "Southern Rep's bill of lesser Tennessee Williams holds limited appeal," 27 Mar. 2018

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

circa 1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for coherence

coher(ent) + -ence, after Latin cohaerentia

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Statistics for coherence

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for coherence

The first known use of coherence was circa 1580

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Comments on coherence

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something that serves to warn or remind

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