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

Essential Meaning of coherent

1 : logical and well-organized : easy to understand He proposed the most coherent plan to improve the schools. a coherent argument/essay
2 : able to talk or express yourself in a clear way that can be easily understood The drunk man was not coherent. [=understandable]
3 : working closely and well together They are able to function as a coherent group/team.

Full Definition of coherent

1a : logically or aesthetically ordered or integrated : consistent coherent style a coherent argument
b : having clarity or intelligibility : understandable a coherent person a coherent passage
2 : having the quality of holding together or cohering especially : cohesive, coordinated a coherent plan for action
3a : relating to or composed of waves having a constant difference in phase coherent light
b : producing coherent light a coherent source

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from coherent

coherently adverb

Examples of coherent in a Sentence

… the diaries and the novels demonstrate how a novelist tweaks and grooms reality into something more structured and coherent than life as it is lived. — Penelope Lively, Atlantic, February 2001 He is without a political agenda as he is without a coherent moral sensibility. — Joyce Carol Oates, Entertainment Weekly, 27 July 1990 At times, without my insisting on it, my writings become coherent; the successive elements that occur to me are clearly related. — William Stafford, Writing the Australian Crawl, 1978 This time the song was old, a pattern of rhythmic monosyllables which had lost coherent meaning somewhere in time. — Tony Hillerman, The Blessing Way, 1970 He proposed the most coherent plan to improve the schools. They are able to function as a coherent group.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web These pages are likely numerous, and the collection of pages is coherent, forming a totality. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 14 Sep. 2021 Mira’s character history — a former college actor who now, as a tech executive, has ceded her creative side to her ambition — is coherent. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 4 Sep. 2021 Personal mastery is sensing ourselves clearly and being coherent in our inner resonance. Ginny Whitelaw, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 However, a lack of any coherent policy has slowed these efforts -- and in the context of Afghanistan, that means when the US withdraws, everyone withdraws. Luke Mcgee, CNN, 24 Aug. 2021 Having such a long-term coach like Wenger can help bring stability and a coherent long-term strategy. Steve Price, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 In the face of the Taliban advances, there doesn't appear to be a coherent strategy to turn the tide. Melanie Zanona, CNN, 13 Aug. 2021 Republicans are having a challenging time coming up with a coherent line of attack against President Joe Biden. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 June 2021 To be sure, even those close to Russia’s ruling elite sometimes caution against trying to identify a single coherent strategy in the Kremlin’s moves. New York Times, 23 Apr. 2021

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

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for coherent

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French coherent, borrowed from Latin cohaerent-, cohaerens "touching, adjacent, cohering," from present participle of cohaerēre "to cohere"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About coherent

Time Traveler for coherent

Time Traveler

The first known use of coherent was in 1557

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near coherent




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for coherent

Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coherent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for coherent


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

Kids Definition of coherent

1 : logical and well-organized a coherent speech
2 : to be able to speak well The accident left her shaken but coherent.

More from Merriam-Webster on coherent

Nglish: Translation of coherent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coherent for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something 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!