• synonyms


[in-koh-heer-uhnt, -her-]
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  1. without logical or meaningful connection; disjointed; rambling: an incoherent sentence.
  2. characterized by such thought or language, as a person: incoherent with rage.
  3. not coherent or cohering: an incoherent mixture.
  4. lacking physical cohesion; loose: incoherent dust.
  5. lacking unity or harmony of elements: an incoherent public.
  6. lacking congruity of parts; uncoordinated.
  7. different or incompatible by nature, as things.
  8. Physics. (of a wave) having a low degree of coherence.Compare coherent(def 4).
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Origin of incoherent

First recorded in 1620–30; in-3 + coherent
Related formsin·co·her·ent·ly, adverb


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1. confused, irrational, muddled.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for incoherent


  1. lacking in clarity or organization; disordered
  2. unable to express oneself clearly; inarticulate
  3. physics (of two or more waves) having the same frequency but not the same phaseincoherent light
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Derived Formsincoherence, incoherency or incoherentness, nounincoherently, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for incoherent


1620s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + coherent. Related: Incoherently.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper