co·​her·​ent kō-ˈhir-ənt How to pronounce coherent (audio)
: logically or aesthetically ordered or integrated : consistent
coherent style
a coherent argument
: having clarity or intelligibility : understandable
a coherent person
a coherent passage
: having the quality of holding together or cohering
especially : cohesive, coordinated
a coherent plan for action
: relating to or composed of waves having a constant difference in phase
coherent light
: producing coherent light
a coherent source
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 The difficulty of finding a compelling and coherent narrative on China is one reason the opposition has failed to unify. Vic Chiang, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 Staying coherent and overcoming errors The quantum computing field faces significant hurdles in hardware and software development. Daniel Lidar, Discover Magazine, 23 Nov. 2023 So editing and refining and creating a coherent story, or feeling, was the challenge. Elizabeth Paton, New York Times, 16 Nov. 2023 Produced by Margo Price, the veteran singer’s first album since 2017 gathers songs old and new into a coherent, lively collection. Barry Mazor, WSJ, 30 Oct. 2023 One is probably most urgently to unite the tours so that there can be more coherent and sort of aligned interests. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 27 Sep. 2023 The chatbot is able to generate seemingly coherent texts on a wide range of topics while it has on occasion been shown to entirely make things up. Todd Spangler, Variety, 17 Nov. 2023 The Pan-African scope gives the album a sense of grand ambition that fits a major artist making his most coherent statement after several high-profile years in the game. Jon Dolan, Rolling Stone, 26 Oct. 2023 The specifics of who killed whom aren’t always apparent or, for that matter, coherent. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 19 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coherent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of coherent was in 1557

Dictionary Entries Near coherent

Cite this Entry

“Coherent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on coherent

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!