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coherence

or coherency

[koh-heer-uh ns, -her-] /koʊˈhɪər əns, -ˈhɛr-/
noun
1.
the act or state of cohering; cohesion.
2.
logical interconnection; overall sense or understandability.
3.
congruity; consistency.
4.
Physics, Optics. (of waves) the state of being coherent.
5.
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).
Origin of coherence
1570-1580
1570-80; coher(ent) + -ence
Related forms
noncoherence, noun
noncoherency, noun
Synonyms
3. correspondence, harmony, agreement, rationality.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for coherence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Wolf did not look for coherence from her, and took the two statements on their face value.

    The Beloved Woman Kathleen Norris
  • But you will say, what coherence has this remark with the matter in question?

    Ebrietatis Encomium Boniface Oinophilus
  • Why stifle his powers for the sake of a coherence which did not exist!

    The Patrician John Galsworthy
  • At about this point the conversation lost its coherence in Pop's ears.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • As a pattern of tracery, it is wanting in coherence and subordination, and these faults are painfully evident outside.

    The Cathedral Church of York A. Clutton-Brock
  • Consequently, they can no longer assume the coherence of language.

  • Did the words themselves take on meaning and coherence, or was it something within himself?

  • Betsy took her by the shoulders, and shook her into coherence.

    Dear Enemy Jean Webster
British Dictionary definitions for coherence

coherence

/kəʊˈhɪərəns/
noun
1.
logical or natural connection or consistency
2.
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 coherence
n.

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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coherence in Science
coherence
  (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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