co·​her·​ent | \ kō-ˈhir-ənt How to pronounce coherent (audio) , -ˈher- \

Definition of coherent

1a : 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
3a : relating to or composed of waves having a constant difference in phase coherent light
b : producing coherent light a coherent source

Other Words from coherent

coherently adverb

Examples of coherent in a Sentence

… 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 Lively, Atlantic, February 2001 He is without a political agenda as he is without a coherent moral sensibility. — Joyce Carol Oates, Entertainment Weekly, 27 July 1990 At times, without my insisting on it, my writings become coherent; the successive elements that occur to me are clearly related. — William Stafford, Writing the Australian Crawl, 1978 This time the song was old, a pattern of rhythmic monosyllables which had lost coherent meaning somewhere in time. — Tony Hillerman, The Blessing Way, 1970 He proposed the most coherent plan to improve the schools. They are able to function as a coherent group. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Ukrainian national rhetoric is less coherent than Putin’s imperialism, and, therefore, more credible, and more human. Timothy Snyder, The New Yorker, 28 Apr. 2022 An agenda, which must be coherent in its vision and blueprint, ensuring India’s economic recovery not to be just centred on the well-being of the top 10% but be consequentially more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable in its nature. Deepanshu Mohan, Quartz, 24 Jan. 2022 Scott was coherent and taken to Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville, Moehring said. Nwa Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, 9 Dec. 2021 Although the pandemic as a whole has lacked a coherent narrative, people seem to have an easier time finding a place for it in the story of their own life. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, 10 Mar. 2022 The districts that used the funding more effectively and saw better results had coherent strategies for improving academics districtwide. Lily Altavena, Detroit Free Press, 11 Apr. 2022 Contingent and anxious, the show seems more interested in saying the right things than in telling a coherent story. New York Times, 3 Apr. 2022 How do we humans learn to string words together into coherent statements? Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Apr. 2022 In relationships like those, or in the ensemble’s gradual evolution from a mutually suspicious cohort of strangers to a coherent group of friends, The Outlaws feels like more than the sum of its parts. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of coherent

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for coherent

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

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The first known use of coherent was in 1557

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Coherent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for coherent


co·​her·​ent | \ kō-ˈhir-ənt How to pronounce coherent (audio) , -ˈher- \

Kids Definition of coherent

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

More from Merriam-Webster on coherent

Nglish: Translation of coherent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coherent for Arabic Speakers


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