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[koh-heer-uh ns, -her-] /koʊˈhɪər əns, -ˈhɛr-/
the act or state of cohering; cohesion.
logical interconnection; overall sense or understandability.
congruity; consistency.
Physics, Optics. (of waves) the state of being coherent.
Linguistics. the property of unity in a written text or a segment of spoken discourse that stems from the links among its underlying ideas and from the logical organization and development of its thematic content.
Compare cohesion (def 4).
Also, coherency.
Origin of coherence
First recorded in 1570-80; coher(ent) + -ence
Related forms
noncoherence, noun
noncoherency, noun
3. correspondence, harmony, agreement, rationality. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for coherency
Historical Examples
  • He spoke again, hurriedly and excitedly now, but the coherency of his narrative was at an end.

    The Star-Gazers George Manville Fenn
  • The Customs Union was invented in 1828 to supply the necessary element of coherency.

    Invention Bradley A. Fiske
  • Taking the ordinary vague meaning of the word "talented," there is no coherency in the picture.

    All Things Considered G. K. Chesterton
  • Certainly the coherency of this speech was not on its surface.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost William Frend De Morgan
  • And having failed on the Marne and retreated to the Aisne the German strategic plan lost all coherency.

    G. H. Q. Frank Fox
  • The science loses in coherency from this diversity of definition.

    Social Value B. M. Anderson
  • There is no consistency which has not once been inconsistent, nor coherency that has not been incoherent.

  • To most of them, these impressions never reach the point of coherency.

    The Riverman Stewart Edward White
  • For the delegates set great store by their reputation for logic and coherency.

  • But short of this there can be no value in coherency and harmonious consistency as such.

    On Compromise John Morley
British Dictionary definitions for coherency


logical or natural connection or consistency
another word for cohesion (sense 1)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for coherency



late 16c., from Middle French cohérence (16c.), from Latin cohaerentia, noun of state from cohaerentem (see coherent). Related: Coherency.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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coherency in Science
  (kō-hîr'əns, -hěr'-)   
A property holding for two or more waves or fields when each individual wave or field is in phase with every other one. Lasers, for example, emit almost perfectly coherent light; all the photons emitted by a laser have the same frequency and are in phase. Since quantum states can be described by a wave equation, coherence can hold for quantum states in general, though only among bosons. Coherence is generally possible in physical systems that may undergo superposition. Maintaining coherence of light is important in fiber optic communications. See also Bose-Einstein condensate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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