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

Definition of incoherent

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

Other Words from incoherent

incoherently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for incoherent



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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 some decades 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Chapter 2, on the origins of free-market thought in early Christianity, is an incoherent mess. Barton Swaim, WSJ, 9 Sep. 2022 Instead of the dance videos or sometimes incoherent speeches on religion, Hanna posted several straightforward TikTok addressing the situation. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 2 Sep. 2022 The driver was incoherent and signs of alcohol intoxication were observed. Cheryl Higley, cleveland, 30 July 2022 According to the report, officials said Rivera-Rosado was incoherent and had no memory of anything leading up to the crash. Abigail Hasebroock, Orlando Sentinel, 25 July 2022 What may not be so well understood, however, is how incoherent the opposition arguments are. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2022 To the homeless men lined up outside Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in Manhattan, Martial Simon was a familiar figure: often incoherent, usually angry about something. New York Times, 5 Feb. 2022 The email message was a bizarre, technically incoherent warning that made reference to cybersecurity writer Vinny Troia as well as a cybercriminal group called The Dark Overlord. Kevin Collier, NBC News, 13 Nov. 2021 Fittingly, despite its range, Melt never feels incoherent. Khari Nixon, SPIN, 30 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of incoherent

1599, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of incoherent was in 1599

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Last Updated

1 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Incoherent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for incoherent


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

More from Merriam-Webster on incoherent

Nglish: Translation of incoherent for Spanish Speakers


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