cohesion

noun
co·​he·​sion | \ kō-ˈhē-zhən How to pronounce cohesion (audio) \

Definition of cohesion

1 : the act or state of sticking together tightly especially : unity the lack of cohesion in the Party The Times Literary Supplement (London) cohesion among soldiers in a unit
2 : union between similar plant parts or organs
3 : molecular attraction by which the particles of a body are united throughout the mass

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Other Words from cohesion

cohesionless \ kō-​ˈhē-​zhən-​ləs How to pronounce cohesionless (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

Cohesion is one of the noun forms of cohere; the others are cohesiveness and coherence, each of which has a slightly different meaning. Coherence is often used to describe a person's speech or writing. An incoherent talk or blog post is one that doesn't "hang together;" and if the police pick up someone who they describe as incoherent, it means he or she isn't making sense. But to describe a group or team that always sticks together, you would use cohesive, not coherent. And the words you'd use in Chemistry class to describe the way molecules hang together—for example, the way water forms into beads and drops—are cohesion, cohesive, and cohesiveness.

Examples of cohesion in a Sentence

There was a lack of cohesion in the rebel army.

Recent Examples on the Web

What strikes the reader is not so much the cohesion of unified belief communities as the development of divisions within each: orthodoxy versus revisionism, fundamentalism versus liberalism, God’s singularity versus his plurality. Andrew Stark, WSJ, "‘Living With the Gods’ Review: The Gang’s All Here," 16 Nov. 2018 Even among the feuding factions within the Afghan delegation, there has been remarkable cohesion over the latest peace overture. Rod Nordland And Mujib Mashal, New York Times, "Taliban’s Rare Silence on Talks Charges Up a New Peace Conference," 27 Mar. 2018 Many have proposed that the value of moral behavior in encouraging group cohesion must have outweighed the reproductive interests of individuals. John Hawks, WSJ, "‘The Goodness Paradox’ Review: The Benefits of Good Breeding," 25 Jan. 2019 But the success, or lack of it, of the early efforts by McVay and Phillips to promote unity and cohesion could be the key. Mark Maske, The Seattle Times, "What to watch as NFL teams report to training camps," 24 July 2018 Her critical position in the Senate was the result of a midterm election and proof that party cohesion is not always absolute, even after a historic win. Rachel Janfaza, Teen Vogue, "These 3 Midterms Elections Prove That Off-Year Elections Really Matter," 26 Oct. 2018 This obviously is a generalization, but perhaps there are enough players leaving non-European homes, and at an earlier age, to impact chemistry or tactical cohesion back with their senior national sides, which gather and play only intermittently. Brian Straus, SI.com, "The Factors and Figures Behind Europe's World Cup Dominance Trend," 8 July 2018 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo should ensure that America’s European allies understand that a smooth Brexit is important to Continental and Western cohesion and that proposals like Mr. Czaputowicz’s need to be explored. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Charles de Gaulle Saw Brexit Coming," 21 Jan. 2019 The observation that liberal rights will undermine themselves unless they are underwritten by a certain level of national cohesion is the most important of Mr. Hazony’s book. Jason Willick, WSJ, "‘The Virtue of Nationalism’ and ‘The Nationalist Revival’ Review: Against the Liberal Empire," 9 Oct. 2018

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

1660, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cohesion

borrowed from New Latin cohaesiōn-, cohaesiō (Medieval Latin, "proximity contact"), from Latin cohaes-, variant stem of cohaerēre "to stick together, cohere" + -iōn-, -iō -ion

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Learn More about cohesion

Dictionary Entries near cohesion

coherent

coherer

cohesin

cohesion

cohesive

cohibit

cohitre

Statistics for cohesion

Last Updated

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cohesion

The first known use of cohesion was in 1660

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More Definitions for cohesion

cohesion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cohesion

: a condition in which people or things are closely united

cohesion

noun
co·​he·​sion | \ kō-ˈhē-zhən How to pronounce cohesion (audio) \

Kids Definition of cohesion

1 : the action of sticking together
2 : the force of attraction between the molecules in a mass

cohesion

noun
co·​he·​sion | \ kō-ˈhē-zhən How to pronounce cohesion (audio) \

Medical Definition of cohesion

1 : the act or process of sticking together tightly
2 : the molecular attraction by which the particles of a body are united throughout the mass — compare adhesion sense 3

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Comments on cohesion

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