from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A supporter, as of a cause or individual.
  • adjective Sticking or holding fast.
  • adjective Botany Joined but not united. Used of dissimilar parts or organs.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Sticking; clinging; adhering.
  • In botany, congenitally united, as parts that are normally separate: generally used as equivalent to adnate. See cut under adnate. In logic and metaphysics, accidentally connected; not belonging to the nature of a thing; not inherent: as, if a cloth is wet, its wetness is a quality adherent to it, not inherent in it.
  • noun A person who adheres; one who follows or upholds a leader, party, cause, opinion, or the like; a follower, partizan, or supporter.
  • noun Anything outwardly belonging to a person; an appendage.
  • noun Synonyms Disciple, pupil, upholder, supporter, dependant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who adheres; one who adheres; one who follows a leader, party, or profession; a follower, or partisan; a believer in a particular faith or church.
  • noun rare That which adheres; an appendage.
  • adjective Sticking; clinging; adhering.
  • adjective Attached as an attribute or circumstance.
  • adjective (Bot.) Congenitally united with an organ of another kind, as calyx with ovary, or stamens with petals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Adhesive, sticking to something.
  • adjective Having the quality of clinging or sticking fast to something.
  • adjective botany Attaching or pressing against a different organ.
  • noun A person who has membership in some group, association or religion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective sticking fast
  • noun someone who believes and helps to spread the doctrine of another


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word adherent.


  • The slain Mungiki adherent is the fourth sect member to be killed by police after members of the outlawed sect hacked two police officers and set their bodies ablaze last Wednesday.

    Police Shoot Mungiki Sect Suspect Dead 2003

  • In fact, I'd sooner call adherent to the Chicago Declaration on Biblical Inerrancy "liberals" since they are taking the relatively recent terminology of "inerrancy" and innovating a new definition thereof, without the involvement of, much less the agreement of, large numbers of Christians.

    Classic Liberal? James F. McGrath 2009

  • Twitter's version of the calling card should be more developer friendly and it's already more standards adherent, which is another way to say developer friendly.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Web 2.0 2009

  • Twitter's version of the calling card should be more developer friendly and it's already more standards adherent, which is another way to say developer friendly.

    Original Signal - The best of Web 2.0 2009

  • Myself, I take the approach that if a person self identifies as a adherent of a certain religion, then they are one.

    Sadly, No! 2008

  • The common honeysuckle, _Lonicera Periclymenum_, is one of these, and it is noticeable in this plant that the calyx remains unaffected -- a circumstance which Morren says shows the distinctness of virescence from frondescence; for, in this instance, we have the most foliaceous portion of the flower remaining unchanged, while the corolla and other organs, usually less leaf-like in their nature, assume a green colour; but this may rather be attributed to the axial nature of the so-called adherent calyx.

    Vegetable Teratology An Account of the Principal Deviations from the Usual Construction of Plants Maxwell T. Masters

  • So the parasitic Church-member, the literal "adherent," comes not merely to live only within the circle of ideas of his minister, but to be content that his minister has these ideas -- like the literary parasite who fancies he knows everything because he has a good library.

    Natural Law in the Spiritual World Henry Drummond 1874

  • "adherent" enjoyed friendly consideration, especially if he adhered faithfully; and stray attendants from other congregations were treated with punctilious hospitality, places being found for them in the Old

    The Imperialist Sara Jeannette Duncan

  • Standing on a curb, resting, Uriel and I are approached by a young San Juditas adherent who starts chatting us up.

    Down and Delirious in Mexico City Daniel Hernandez 2011

  • Palin is procalimed an adherent of violence for “targeting” Democrats in the coming election.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A Sad Victory for Thuggery in Texas 2010


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.