[ koh-heer-uhns, -her- ]
/ koʊˈhɪər əns, -ˈhɛr- /
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logical interconnection; overall sense or understandability.
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).
OTHER WORDS FOR coherence
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Also co·her·en·cy .
Origin of coherence
First recorded in 1570–80; coher(ent) + -ence
OTHER WORDS FROM coherencenon·co·her·ence, nounnon·co·her·en·cy, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use coherence in a sentence
In an old-fashioned way, I think coherency and accuracy make a political argument more effective.It's How Badly She Said It|Gershom Gorenberg|February 12, 2013|DAILY BEAST
For I did utter something—my dead and shuddering tongue did babble forth some coherency.Prince Zaleski|M.P. Shiel
The answer of Eau-douce was not very intelligible, nor was the murmured dialogue that followed remarkable for coherency.The Pathfinder|James Fenimore Cooper
Hurlstone gallantly insisted upon the precedence of her thought—the scamp had doubted the coherency of his own.The Crusade of the Excelsior|Bret Harte
Another moment or two and all coherency of thought would be gone.The Chalice Of Courage|Cyrus Townsend Brady
Imagine receiving a telegram early in the morning, when a man's brain is without invention or coherency of thought!Hearts and Masks|Harold MacGrath
British Dictionary definitions for coherence
/ (kəʊˈhɪərəns) /
logical or natural connection or consistency
another word for cohesion (def. 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
Scientific definitions for coherence
[ kō-hîr′əns, -hĕr′- ]
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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.