Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To stick or hold together in a mass that resists separation.
  • intransitive v. To have internal elements or parts logically connected so that aesthetic consistency results: "The movie as a whole failed to cohere” ( Robert Brustein).
  • transitive v. To cause to form a united, orderly, and aesthetically consistent whole.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To stick together physically, by adhesion or figuratively by common purpose.
  • v. To be consistent as part of a group.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To stick together; to cleave; to be united; to hold fast, as parts of the same mass.
  • intransitive v. To be united or connected together in subordination to one purpose; to follow naturally and logically, as the parts of a discourse, or as arguments in a train of reasoning; to be logically consistent.
  • intransitive v. To suit; to agree; to fit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To stick, or stick together; cleave; be united; hold fast, as one thing to another, or parts of the same mass, or two substances that attract each other.
  • To be well connected or coherent; follow regularly in the natural or logical order; be suited in connection, as the parts of a discourse, or as arguments in a train of reasoning.
  • To suit; be fitted; agree.

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

  • v. have internal elements or parts logically connected so that aesthetic consistency results
  • v. cause to form a united, orderly, and aesthetically consistent whole
  • v. come or be in close contact with; stick or hold together and resist separation

Etymologies

Latin cohaerēre : co-, co- + haerēre, to cling.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin cohaereō ("I cohere”, “I cling (closely) together”, “I harmonise”, “I am consistent (with)”, “I am in agreement with"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But the efforts to distance themselves from blacks did not cohere into a new Italian American racial identity and culture until the 1940s.

    A Renegade History of the United States

  • We suggest instead that Mormons cohere because they are a religious group that resembles an ethnicity—one based on belief, not blood.

    American Grace

  • Milieu: Separate locales cohere across the suturing of scenes -- e.g. in one scene the character is on the road; in the next they are booking into the motel.

    Notes on Worldscape

  • In the reader's imagination these shards of place and time woven into the mimetic weft cohere into a sense of location, layout of objects, orientation of characters within that immediate frame -- at night, on a street corner, where a side-street joins a wide thoroughfare.

    Notes on Worldscape

  • The montage of icons does cohere into a sort of meta-icon perhaps, of dogs that are (for me) short-haired, middling-sized, with dark-brown fur; but this is … a sort of cubist collage of perspectives that spills out beyond its casual frame, each dog a Cerberus with three heads superimposed one over the other, snub-nosed and long-snouted, ears pricked and flattened, slavering and not slavering.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • No single state government will have the resources to form the nucleus of a new Union and the entire group of states will be too fragmented and fracking argumentative to cohere as a federation.

    Think Progress » FBI Issues Warning About Threat From Yet Another Anti-Government Group With Ties To The Radical Right

  • It turns out that not only do people care about how well various public policies cohere with their existing cultural worldviews, but their beliefs about the empirical evidence are also derived from these cultural worldviews.

    2009 August | Serendipity

  • If an offensive line which played without three scholarship players in the April 24 spring game can stay healthy and cohere, even the best defenses will have a difficult time stopping Tech's collection of talent.

    Around the Atlantic Coast Conference

  • They must recognize that it is possible to work with Tehran where their interests cohere, even as they seek to counter it at other points.

    Erin Fitzgerald: Iran's Shadow Diplomacy

  • Ultimately the jumbled, distorted pieces of the story cohere into an affecting account of the narrator's troubles, and the impact is only heightened by the incremental way in which thehorror of her experience is revealed.

    January 2010

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