co·​he·​sive kō-ˈhē-siv How to pronounce cohesive (audio)
: exhibiting or producing cohesion or coherence
a cohesive social unit
cohesive soils
the cohesive property of clay
cohesively adverb
cohesiveness noun

Did you know?

The Latin verb haerēre has shown remarkable stick-to-itiveness in influencing the English lexicon, which is fitting for a word that means "to be closely attached; to stick." Among its descendants are adhere (literally meaning "to stick"), adhere’s relative adhesive (a word for sticky substances), inhere (meaning "to belong by nature or habit"), and even hesitate (which implies remaining stuck in place before taking action). In Latin, haerēre teamed up with the prefix co- to form cohaerēre, which means "to stick together." Cohaerēre is the ancestor of cohesive, a word borrowed into English in the early 18th century to describe something that sticks together literally (such as dough or mud) or figuratively (such as a society or sports team).

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 In terms of accessories, Garner kept her choices simple and cohesive, aligning with the minimalist theme of her outfit. Ty Gaskins, WWD, 12 July 2024 The album’s 10 songs (and three interludes) continue in that manner, shifting smoothly between styles in a remarkably diverse but cohesive set that’s united by her unmistakable voice. Jem Aswad, Variety, 12 July 2024 In my mind, the most critical need for the town is to unite in a cohesive, collaborative and synergistic way. Sam Kmack, The Arizona Republic, 9 July 2024 The squad looked cohesive after just two or three practices together. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 6 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for cohesive 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cohesive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1731, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cohesive was circa 1731


Dictionary Entries Near cohesive

Cite this Entry

“Cohesive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


co·​he·​sive kō-ˈhē-siv, -ziv How to pronounce cohesive (audio)
: exhibiting or producing cohesion
cohesively adverb
cohesiveness noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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