adjective in·co·her·ent \ ˌin-kō-ˈhir-ənt , -ˈher- \
|Updated on: 14 Aug 2018

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



incoherent was our Word of the Day on 06/07/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of incoherent in a Sentence

  1. The fever made her incoherent.

  2. He was very upset and practically incoherent after the accident.

  3. The memo is completely incoherent.

Recent Examples of incoherent from the Web

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.

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.

First Known Use of incoherent


in the meaning defined above

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INCOHERENT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of incoherent for English Language Learners

  • : 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

INCOHERENT Defined for Kids


adjective in·co·her·ent \ ˌin-kō-ˈhir-ənt \

Definition of incoherent for Students

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



Medical Dictionary


adjective in·co·her·ent \ -ənt \

medical Definition of incoherent

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



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fullness to the point of excess

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