[ad-hee-siv, -ziv]
coated with glue, paste, mastic, or other sticky substance: adhesive bandages.
sticking fast; sticky; clinging.
Physics. of or pertaining to the molecular force that exists in the area of contact between unlike bodies and that acts to unite them.
a substance that causes something to adhere, as glue or rubber cement.
Philately. a postage stamp with a gummed back, as distinguished from one embossed or printed on an envelope or card.

1660–70; adhes(ion) + -ive

adhesively, adverb
adhesiveness, noun
nonadhesive, adjective
nonadhesively, adverb
nonadhesiveness, noun
semiadhesive, adjective
semiadhesively, adverb
semiadhesiveness, noun
unadhesive, adjective
unadhesively, adverb
unadhesiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
adhesive (ədˈhiːsɪv)
1.  able or designed to adhere; sticky: adhesive tape
2.  tenacious or clinging
3.  a substance used for sticking objects together, such as glue, cement, or paste

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1660s, from Fr. adhésif, formed in Fr., from L. adhaesionem (nom. adhaesio) "a sticking to" (see adhesion). The noun is attested from 1912.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

adhesive ad·he·sive (ād-hē'sĭv, -zĭv)

  1. Tending to adhere; sticky.

  2. Of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an adhesion.

A substance that adheres to a surface or causes adherence between surfaces.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
adhesive   (ād-hē'sĭv)  Pronunciation Key 
Noun   A substance, such as paste or cement, that causes two surfaces to stick together. Adhesives are made of gelatin or other substances, such as epoxy, resin, or polyethylene.

Adjective   Relating to adhesion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


any substance that is capable of holding materials together in a functional manner by surface attachment that resists separation. "Adhesive" as a general term includes cement, mucilage, glue, and paste-terms that are often used interchangeably for any organic material that forms an adhesive bond. Inorganic substances such as portland cement also can be considered adhesives, in the sense that they hold objects such as bricks and beams together through surface attachment, but this article is limited to a discussion of organic adhesives, both natural and synthetic

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
There's also minimal adhesive sticking the motherboard to other components, making a full teardown relatively easy.
Put adhesive on the outside of a weather balloon and fly it over each spire
  using monofilament.
Though invisible in normal light once it has hardened, this adhesive glows
  yellow when illuminated by a beam of ultraviolet light.
Improved attachment method for seals-harness replaced by safe adhesive patch.
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