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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Researcher Samuel Ramani argued that Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities last month were motivated primarily by the Houthis’ desire to demonstrate internal cohesion and to gain popular support — rather than to serve Tehran’s interests. Washington Post, "Iran has invested in allies and proxies across the Middle East. Here’s why they matter now.," 19 June 2019 Rural communities especially are less vibrant as a result, and there’s a sense of defeat that breeds dissatisfaction with the German government’s cohesion efforts. Leonid Bershidsky, Twin Cities, "Leonid Bershidsky: Depopulation Is Eastern Germany’s curse," 18 June 2019 Lister’s prescient insistence on a cohesion between her public and private personas — an insistence on her sexuality as a vital component of her identity — was remarkable. Jeanna Kadlec, Longreads, "The 19th Century Lesbian Made for 21st Century Consumption," 7 June 2019 Coach Steve Kerr, who praised his team’s effort, used an NBA playoffs record 10th different starting lineup but no combination of players found any rhythm on offense or any cohesion on defense. Jeff Faraudo, The Mercury News, "Steph plenty strong, but no other strength found in these numbers," 6 June 2019 Especially since 2016, dissent has been suppressed, the rule of law has deteriorated, and a human rights crisis has escalated; meanwhile, opposition to Erdoğan’s rule has gained cohesion. The New York Review of Books, "Kaya Genç," 28 June 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cohesion

Dictionary Entries near cohesion

coherent

coherer

cohesin

cohesion

cohesive

cohibit

cohitre

Statistics for cohesion

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cohesion

The first known use of cohesion was in 1660

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cohesion

What made you want to look up cohesion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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