co·​here | \ kō-ˈhir How to pronounce cohere (audio) \
cohered; cohering

Definition of cohere

intransitive verb

1a : to hold together firmly as parts of the same mass broadly : stick, adhere
b : to display cohesion of plant parts
2 : to hold together as a mass of parts that cohere
3a : to become united in principles, relationships, or interests
b : to be logically or aesthetically consistent

transitive verb

: to cause (parts or components) to cohere

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Choose the Right Synonym for cohere

stick, adhere, cohere, cling, cleave mean to become closely attached. stick implies attachment by affixing or by being glued together. couldn't get the label to stick adhere is often interchangeable with stick but sometimes implies a growing together. antibodies adhering to a virus cohere suggests a sticking together of parts so that they form a unified mass. eggs will make the mixture cohere cling implies attachment by hanging on with arms or tendrils. clinging to a capsized boat cleave stresses strength of attachment. the wet shirt cleaved to his back

Cohere vs Adhere

When you finish writing a paper, you may feel that it coheres well, since it's sharply focused and all the ideas seem to support each other. When all the soldiers in an army platoon feel like buddies, the platoon has become a cohesive unit. In science class you may learn the difference between cohesion (the tendency of a chemical's molecules to stick together) and adhesion (the tendency of the molecules of two different substances to stick together). Water molecules tend to cohere, so water falls from the sky in drops, not as separate molecules. But water molecules also adhere to molecules of other substances, so raindrops will often cling to the underside of a clothesline for a while before gravity pulls them down.

Examples of cohere in a Sentence

the account in his journal coheres with the official report of the battle beset by personal animosities, the people of the neighborhood could not cohere into an effective civic association

Recent Examples on the Web

Again, the books don’t cohere around any particular topic; many are simple fiction. Natalie Wexler, The Atlantic, "Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong," 9 July 2019 In fact, many of the garments on view, their labels tell us, have appeared in numerous shows on various subjects, attesting to the multiple meanings that can cohere in one piece. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, "‘Exhibitionism: 50 Years of The Museum at FIT’ Review: Fashion History Hits the Runway," 12 Feb. 2019 The fonts are clean, the drop shadows are consistent, and everything just coheres really well. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Lenovo Smart Display review: the Google appliance," 26 July 2018 Most of them have to deal with brokenness, chaos, love that never coheres. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Melania’s Misstep and Michelle’s Mystery," 15 Nov. 2018 In this meshing of Phillips as writer and Rhys as subject all the great themes of Phillips’s fiction cohere in the difficult, dislocated, lonely life of Gwen Williams. New York Times, "Two Writers Haunted by Their Caribbean Past," 22 June 2018 Turbojugend exemplify the idea of music fandoms as organized groups that cohere around a particular band or artist. Nancy Baym, WIRED, "Book Excerpt: How Music Fans Built the Internet," 10 July 2018 Here again the back story is key — the piece, according to the composer’s telling, is assembled out of fragments that had refused to cohere. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco Symphony does right by little-known Prokofiev," 4 May 2018 But the thin storyline takes a back seat to the rich language on display; like many a jazz composition, Paradise Blue doesn't cohere very well, but there are some dazzling solos. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Paradise Blue': Theater Review," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cohere.' 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 cohere

1598, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for cohere

borrowed from Latin cohaerēre "to stick together, be in contact with, be connected," from co- co- + haerēre "to be closely attached, stick," going back to a stem *hais-, of obscure origin

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Learn More about cohere

Statistics for cohere

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cohere

The first known use of cohere was in 1598

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More Definitions for cohere



English Language Learners Definition of cohere

formal : to be combined or united in a logical and effective way

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More from Merriam-Webster on cohere

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cohere

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cohere

Spanish Central: Translation of cohere

Nglish: Translation of cohere for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cohere for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cohere

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something desired as essential

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