co·​he·​sive | \ kō-ˈhē-siv How to pronounce cohesive (audio) , -ziv \

Essential Meaning of cohesive

1 : closely united Their tribe is a small but cohesive group.
2 : causing people to be closely united Religion can be used as a cohesive social force.

Full Definition of cohesive

: exhibiting or producing cohesion or coherence a cohesive social unit cohesive soils the cohesive property of clay

Other Words from cohesive

cohesively adverb
cohesiveness noun

Did you know?

Cohesive describes something that sticks together literally or figuratively. To get into the stickiness of the matter, look at the word's etymology: cohesive ultimately derives from Latin haerere, meaning "to stick." Other descendants of haerere in English include adhere (literally meaning "to stick"), its relative adhesive (a word for a substance for sticking things together), inhere (meaning "to belong by nature or habit"), and even hesitate (which implies remaining stuck in place before taking action). Haerere also teamed up with the prefix co- to form cohaerere, an ancestor of cohesive, cohesion ("a sticking together"), cohere ("to stick together"), and coherent ("able to stick together" or "logically consistent").

Examples of cohesive in a Sentence

Their tribe is a small but cohesive group. Religion can be used as a cohesive social force.
Recent Examples on the Web What serves to royally impress are the sharp ways Jacobson and screenwriter Holly Hester craft clean-lined and cohesive character dilemmas. Courtney Howard, Variety, 20 Jan. 2022 Amazingly enough, the resulting album sounds cohesive and intuitive. New York Times, 19 Jan. 2022 The record is an eclectic yet cohesive collection of slick, macabre dance pop—narrated, interestingly, by actor Jim Carrey. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, 7 Jan. 2022 That’s why companies should act now to make the digital experience more cohesive, with a sense of belonging and purpose beyond just good UI and consumerization. Dave Wright, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 Using the same countertop material for a kitchen backsplash creates a cohesive and clean look, with opportunities for big impact! Monique Valeris, Good Housekeeping, 29 Dec. 2021 But the research team also looked at family functioning and found that kids fared better when their families were more communicative and cohesive and when they were enmeshed in a more collective and supportive community. Kat Mckim, Fortune, 22 Dec. 2021 The investigators also found a lack of clear or cohesive priorities for diversity, equity and inclusion. oregonlive, 9 Dec. 2021 The central idea was that Britain needed to be more cohesive and economically dynamic at home to increase its influence on the world stage—and vice versa. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 9 Dec. 2021

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

circa 1731, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cohesive

Latin cohaesus, past participle of cohaerēre "to stick together, cohere" + -ive

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Time Traveler for cohesive

Time Traveler

The first known use of cohesive was circa 1731

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Last Updated

23 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cohesive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for cohesive


co·​he·​sive | \ kō-ˈhē-siv, -ziv How to pronounce cohesive (audio) \

Medical Definition of cohesive

: exhibiting or producing cohesion

Other Words from cohesive

cohesively adverb
cohesiveness noun


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