adjective co·her·ent \ kō-ˈhir-ənt , -ˈher- \
|Updated on: 5 Jul 2018

Definition of coherent

1 a : logically or aesthetically ordered or integrated : consistent
  • coherent style
  • a coherent argument
b : having clarity or intelligibility : understandable
  • a coherent person
  • a coherent passage
2 : having the quality of holding together or cohering; especially : cohesive, coordinated
  • a coherent plan for action
3 a : relating to or composed of waves having a constant difference in phase
  • coherent light
b : producing coherent light
  • a coherent source



Examples of coherent in a Sentence

  1. … the diaries and the novels demonstrate how a novelist tweaks and grooms reality into something more structured and coherent than life as it is lived. —Penelope LivelyAtlanticFebruary 2001
  2. He is without a political agenda as he is without a coherent moral sensibility. —Joyce Carol OatesEntertainment Weekly27 July 1990
  3. At times, without my insisting on it, my writings become coherent; the successive elements that occur to me are clearly related. —William StaffordWriting the Australian Crawl1978
  4. This time the song was old, a pattern of rhythmic monosyllables which had lost coherent meaning somewhere in time. —Tony HillermanThe Blessing Way1970
  5. He proposed the most coherent plan to improve the schools.

  6. They are able to function as a coherent group.

Recent Examples of coherent from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coherent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of coherent

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French coherent, borrowed from Latin cohaerent-, cohaerens "touching, adjacent, cohering," from present participle of cohaerēre "to cohere"

COHERENT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of coherent for English Language Learners

  • : logical and well-organized : easy to understand

  • : able to talk or express yourself in a clear way that can be easily understood

  • : working closely and well together

COHERENT Defined for Kids


adjective co·her·ent \ kō-ˈhir-ənt , -ˈher- \

Definition of coherent for Students

1 : logical and well-organized
  • a coherent speech
2 : to be able to speak well
  • The accident left her shaken but coherent.

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