co·he·sion | \ kō-ˈhē-zhən \

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 \ 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

There’s no correlation between cohesion and groupthink. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Professor, psychologist and author Adam Grant on Recode Decode," 5 July 2018 The move is aimed at better efficiency and cohesion and improved coordination of advocacy for credit unions, the League said. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Credit Union League leaving Pewaukee, consolidating offices in Madison," 22 May 2018 Our level of concentration, work ethic, control of the game and cohesion were all excellent. Iliana Limón Romero, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride earn 2-1 road win over Utah Royals," 14 July 2018 Expect the trio to get plenty of repetitions to develop cohesion with the quarterbacks, especially Joe Flacco. Edward Lee,, "Ravens 2018 position-by-position breakdown: wide receivers," 11 July 2018 But a franchise that cycles through too many players risks building a team with no cohesion. Jon Tayler,, "How Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto Wheeled and Dealed His Way to First-Half Success," 22 June 2018 A week earlier, on its home field, Sporting KC similarly lacked cohesion in the opening half, but an about-face changed the discourse of the match in the second half. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "Montreal pitches shut out, ends Sporting KC's nine-game unbeaten streak," 30 June 2018 Head coach Roberto Martinez has focused on team cohesion since taking over in 2016, but has been criticized for his lack of tactical acumen—by some of his own players. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "World Cup 2018: A Guide to Every Team," 12 June 2018 That style, as opposing coaches and former assistants described to Courier Journal earlier this week, is predicated on a desire for cohesion and toughness. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "'He gets his guys to play hard and together': Villanova players praise Chris Mack hire," 31 Mar. 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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Statistics for cohesion

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for cohesion

The first known use of cohesion was in 1660

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More Definitions for cohesion



English Language Learners Definition of cohesion

: a condition in which people or things are closely united


co·he·sion | \ kō-ˈhē-zhən \

Kids Definition of cohesion

1 : the action of sticking together

2 : the force of attraction between the molecules in a mass


co·he·sion | \ kō-ˈhē-zhən \

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

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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