[in-koh-heer-uhnt, -her-]
See more synonyms for incoherent on
  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).

Origin of incoherent

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

Synonyms for incoherent

See more synonyms for on
1. confused, irrational, muddled. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for incoherently

Contemporary Examples of incoherently

  • Harold Ford is exiting the New York Senate race the same way he almost entered it: incoherently.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Harold Ford's Bumbling Exit

    Peter Beinart

    March 3, 2010

Historical Examples of incoherently

  • "I didn't—The last letter wasn't like the first," she said, incoherently, but it seemed he understood.

  • But they are incoherently viewed and urged; they do not as yet form a national creed.

    Another Sheaf

    John Galsworthy

  • Incoherently she started to tell the whole story over again.


    Stephen French Whitman

  • "I've just had the most lovely idea," said Allie incoherently.

    In Blue Creek Caon

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • He spoke so quickly and incoherently that Elsie could not make out what he was saying.

British Dictionary definitions for incoherently


  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
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 incoherently



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper