in·​co·​her·​ence | \ˌin-kō-ˈhir-ən(t)s, -ˈher-\

Definition of incoherence 

1 : the quality or state of being incoherent

2 : something that is incoherent

Examples of incoherence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But a combination of incoherence and stubbornness seems to have paralyzed the administration on this topic. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Is Trump Actually Going to Do Anything About Family Separation?," 20 June 2018 But there’s quite a lot of strategic incoherence on display, even in Parneros’s brief reign. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Barnes & Noble Too Big to Fail?," 6 July 2018 In a world that often fails to recognize true values, those of us who seek to evangelize the culture run the risk of drowning in incoherence or submitting to the temptations of worldly idols. Nr Interview, National Review, "Capturing a Spiritual Father’s Freedom and Wisdom," 12 Jan. 2018 The seeming incoherence between those consecutive clauses was followed by other bewildering statements in the letter, which was apparently dictated word-for-word by Trump to an aide. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Trump’s canceled North Korea summit sums up his chaotic foreign policy," 25 May 2018 In China Team Trump is accused of incoherence and not knowing what its own side wants. The Economist, "China has put missiles on islands in the South China Sea," 10 May 2018 But the mainstream right doesn’t like to talk about that kind of history; and thus, resigns itself to incoherence. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "A Brief Guide to Every Five-Alarm Fire Currently Engulfing The White House," 1 Mar. 2018 Hip-hop has, any traditionalists will tell you, been playing with willful incoherence in other ways lately, too. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Lives in Kanye West’s ‘Ghost Town’," 14 June 2018 The incoherence was exacerbated by the voice, a gravelly smoker’s baritone. Oanh Ngo Usadi, The Christian Science Monitor, "Learning English with a drawl," 30 May 2018

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

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about incoherence

Share incoherence

Statistics for incoherence

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incoherence

The first known use of incoherence was in 1611

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for incoherence


in·​co·​her·​ence | \ˌin-kō-ˈhir-əns \

Kids Definition of incoherence

: the quality or state of not being connected in a clear or logical way


in·​co·​her·​ence | \ˌin-kō-ˈhir-ən(t)s, -ˈher- \

Medical Definition of incoherence 

: the quality or state of being incoherent

More from Merriam-Webster on incoherence

Spanish Central: Translation of incoherence

Nglish: Translation of incoherence for Spanish Speakers

Comments on incoherence

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


having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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