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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, both the Administration and its congressional allies are grappling with how best to defend against an increasingly robust set of allegations involving the President, and have yet to develop a coherent, national response. Alana Abramson, Time, "Inside the White House's Struggle to Address Impeachment," 29 Oct. 2019 In the month since Democrats announced their impeachment inquiry, Republicans have struggled to offer a coherent response., "WASGHINGTON — President Trump was forced to abandon his decision to host next year’s Group of Seven summit at his private golf club, Doral, after it became clear the move had alienated Republicans and swiftly become part of the impeachment inquiry that threatens his presidency.," 21 Oct. 2019 In the month since Democrats announced their impeachment inquiry, Republicans have struggled to offer a coherent response. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump reversed course on hosting of G-7 at his resort after learning that Republicans were tired of defending him," 21 Oct. 2019 In the month since Democrats announced their impeachment inquiry, Republicans have struggled to offer a coherent response. David A. Fahrenthold, The Denver Post, "Trump reversed course on G-7 after learning that Republicans were tired of defending him," 20 Oct. 2019 Meanwhile, the White House is struggling to offer a coherent response to Iran for its suspected role in the fiery attack on two major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia last weekend. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Why are more women being killed?," 19 Sep. 2019 The idea was to get past the bureaucracy and slow decision-making that hobbled larger international organizations to achieve a fast, coherent response to trouble. David Mchugh,, "The G-7 is meeting this weekend in France: Here’s a quick guide to the group, which Trump says should let Russia back in," 23 Aug. 2019 Dysfunctional’ The current government appears particularly unprepared to formulate a coherent response: The two most powerful leaders in the country have been dueling since last November. Iain Marlow,, "Easter Massacre Opens Door for Strongman to Return in Sri Lanka," 23 Apr. 2019 Meet, but don’t greet This might be a case where greater transparency would provide a clear indication of what the Trump administration was doing about the report and how the EPA's actions would lead to more coherent government response. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "EPA boots reporters from meeting on chemicals called a PR disaster," 22 May 2018

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.

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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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Time Traveler for coherent

Time Traveler

The first known use of coherent was in 1557

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Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coherent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for coherent


How to pronounce coherent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of coherent

: 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


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.

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