in·​co·​her·​ent | \ ˌin-kō-ˈhir-ənt How to pronounce incoherent (audio) , -ˈher-\

Definition of incoherent

: lacking coherence: such as
a : lacking cohesion : loose
b : lacking orderly continuity, arrangement, or relevance : inconsistent an incoherent essay
c : lacking normal clarity or intelligibility in speech or thought incoherent with grief

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Other Words from incoherent

incoherently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for incoherent


choppy, disconnected, disjointed, unconnected


coherent, connected

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Did You Know?

Something that is coherent holds or sticks together firmly, with resistance to separation (that is, it coheres). Coherent, ultimately from the Latin co- ("together") and haerēre ("to stick or cling"), entered English in the 16th century and almost from the beginning was used both of physical things ("coherent stone") and of things which hold together in a much less palpable way ("coherent thoughts"). Its antonym, incoherent, entered the language about three-quarters of a century later. Like coherent, incoherent can be applied to both the tangible and the intangible. But, whether we are speaking of sand or logic, all things incoherent have one thing in common: they do not hold together, literally or figuratively, in a unified or intelligible whole.

Examples of incoherent in a Sentence

The fever made her incoherent. He was very upset and practically incoherent after the accident. The memo is completely incoherent.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The cinematography and editing is completely incoherent and not compelling. Katie Walsh,, "‘Stuber’ review: Skip this ride starring Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista," 11 July 2019 Southern Accents is an incoherent yet compelling mess. Michael Washburn, Longreads, "Tom Petty’s Problematic Album Southern Accents," 9 July 2019 At least six officers responded and determined Wroth was incoherent and in an altered state. Bay City News, The Mercury News, "Rhonert Park to challenge jury’s $4M award to family of man who died in police confrontation," 22 June 2019 The man was intoxicated and incoherent, mumbling and slurring his words., "Car slams into house, but drunk man on scene can’t be pinned for OVI: Cleveland Heights police blotter," 21 June 2019 Back on the East Coast, around 1 a.m., Atkins-Ingram got an incoherent, tearful phone call from her other son, Bryce Bradforth. Charlotte Carroll,, "Collapse and Confusion: The Death of a Juco Football Player," 24 June 2019 When the incoherent claps of a crowd suddenly become a pulse, as everyone starts clapping in unison, who decided? Quanta Magazine, "Scientists Discover Exotic New Patterns of Synchronization," 4 Apr. 2019 Truaxe continues to post sometimes rambling and incoherent posts on his own account. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "What the latest report on skin care company Deciem reveals about its troubled founder," 3 Dec. 2018 Other symptoms include incoherent speech, inappropriate behavior, and overall difficulty functioning. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "9 Things You Should Know About Taking Antipsychotic Drugs," 7 Dec. 2018

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

1599, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for incoherent

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incoherent

The first known use of incoherent was in 1599

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More Definitions for incoherent



English Language Learners Definition of incoherent

: not able to talk or express yourself in a clear way that can be easily understood
: not logical or well-organized : not easy to understand


in·​co·​her·​ent | \ ˌin-kō-ˈhir-ənt How to pronounce incoherent (audio) \

Kids Definition of incoherent

: not connected in a clear or logical way He was so upset, his speech was incoherent.

Other Words from incoherent

incoherently adverb


in·​co·​her·​ent | \ -ənt How to pronounce incoherent (audio) \

Medical Definition of incoherent

: lacking clarity or intelligibility usually by reason of some emotional stress incoherent speech

Other Words from incoherent

incoherently adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on incoherent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for incoherent

Spanish Central: Translation of incoherent

Nglish: Translation of incoherent for Spanish Speakers

Comments on incoherent

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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