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 The sitting president has all the intellectual coherence of a rock. Tanner Greer, National Review, "Learning the Wrong Lessons from Reform Conservatism," 17 Mar. 2020 Find a rhythm Routines structure our days, and provide a sense of coherence that bolsters our meaning in life. Erin C. Westgate, The Conversation, "6 things you can do to cope with boredom at a time of social distancing," 27 Mar. 2020 The party may also face a test of its own internal coherence. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Did Ireland Go Populist Nationalist?," 14 Feb. 2020 Tempos one notch faster than Trevino’s would have given the opening more urgency, and the lush trios of the scherzo more coherence. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Fort Worth Symphony delivers expert and expressive performance for conductor Robert Trevino," 29 Feb. 2020 People have accused her of being all over the place, but there is this remarkable coherence. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "The Pelosi-Versus-Squad Paradigm," 18 July 2019 After our little tour of recent Trump pronouncements, the only coherence that emerges is opportunity to coerce. Noam Cohen, WIRED, "The Truth About Trump’s Love-Hate Relationship With Big Tech," 18 July 2019 There’s no need for narrative coherence, just technobabble nods at whatever the next task is—turning on backup power, or pressurizing the sea suits, or trudging across the ocean floor toward an escape pod. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Underwater Entertains but Doesn’t Have Much Depth," 9 Jan. 2020 But even those efforts have lacked coherence, as Mulvaney’s conflicting statements showed. Los Angeles Times, "White House stone wall crumbles. Now what?," 18 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for coherence

Time Traveler

The first known use of coherence was circa 1580

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Statistics for coherence

Last Updated

23 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coherence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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