co·​her·​ence | \ kō-ˈhir-ən(t)s How to pronounce coherence (audio) , -ˈher- How to pronounce coherence (audio) \

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

Polyglot India is the nearest international comparator to the EU, but there too debates rage over whether to adopt a sole official language to add coherence. The Economist, "Brexit is the ideal moment to make English the EU’s common language," 15 June 2019 Maximum functional and aesthetic coherence is crucial at the Manufactory, which opened this spring at the Row DTLA. Jessica Ritz,, "The Manufactory: A new culinary anchor in the Arts District," 10 June 2019 But it was done with poetry, with a delicate, thoughtful approach, with coherence and refinement. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "The Festival d’Hyères’s Top Prize Goes to a Young Austrian Whose Focus Is Upcycling," 29 Apr. 2019 The installation, spread over several galleries, is spare and likewise lends coherence to what could have been a kind of painterly cacophony. Peter Plagens, WSJ, "‘Charline von Heyl: Snake Eyes’ Review: A Pro in Need of Poetry," 18 Dec. 2018 These heroes, their movies, and their backstories are all thrown higgledy-piggledy into a story that somehow finds coherence, mainly thanks to the film’s firm commitment to its own riotous subversion of the superhero game. Genevieve Koski, Vox, "Teen Titans GO! to the Movies is a candy-colored cure for superhero-movie fatigue," 26 July 2018 Journalism academics have always known that newsworthiness, as the American press defines it, isn’t a system with any coherence to it. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Is the media making American politics worse?," 22 Oct. 2018 Even at its most frenetic and thundering, there’s a coherence to Mr. Graves’s drum work. Milford Graves, New York Times, "Review: ‘Milford Graves Full Mantis’ Delivers a Lot of Heart," 12 July 2018 There may not be method to Mr. Riley’s madness, but there is a measure of coherence, of intellectual discipline, to his wildness. New York Times, "Review: ‘Sorry to Bother You,’ but Can I Interest You in a Wild Dystopian Satire?," 2 July 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

3 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for coherence

The first known use of coherence was circa 1580

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