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

Suddenly, the consensus on how to solve the five problems breaks down, and the group begins to lose cohesion. Mike Martin, Time, "How the Long History of Human Violence Explains Why the Internet Causes So Much Chaos," 11 Sep. 2019 The time signatures and rhythms contort like snakes in a bag (though sticking to 7/4 for a lot of it provides a strange cohesion). Christopher R. Weingarten,, "Tool's Fear Inoculum is a deeply satisfying return to form," 1 Sep. 2019 Sustaining the union is in part about striking a balance between diffusion and cohesion. Fred Bauer, National Review, "What the Nationalism vs. Liberalism Debate Misses," 28 Aug. 2019 For immigration to function there has to be an emphasis on e pluribus unum, and creating a national cohesion. al, "How Stephen Miller controls Trump’s immigration policy," 18 Aug. 2019 For immigration to function there has to be an emphasis on e pluribus unum, and creating a national cohesion. Author: Nick Miroff, Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, "Stephen Miller has singular control of Trump’s immigration policy," 17 Aug. 2019 The youthful Nuggets are also banking on cohesion to improve on a season that saw them go 54-28 and earn the No. Pat Graham,, "Jerami Grant gives Nuggets ‘a seamless fit’ for their youth movement — and another Maryland connection," 12 July 2019 Hector Ortiz, a father of two in Olney, said in the best case the boundary review would foster cohesion for communities such as his, where students are not all assigned to the same schools. Washington Post, "School boundary questions touch off debates about race, income, equity," 8 July 2019 While James and Ferguson have plenty of experience as two of the oldest players in the American Athletic Conference, cohesion among the five on the offensive line is still in question. Fletcher Page,, "Cincinnati football hosts UCLA: 3 keys and a prediction for UC Bearcats opener," 28 Aug. 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.

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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

15 Sep 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



English Language Learners Definition of cohesion

: a condition in which people or things are closely united


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


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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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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