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[koh-heer-uh nt, -her-] /koʊˈhɪər ənt, -ˈhɛr-/
logically connected; consistent:
a coherent argument.
cohering; sticking together:
a coherent mass of sticky candies.
having a natural or due agreement of parts; harmonious:
a coherent design.
Physics, Optics. of or relating to waves that maintain a fixed phase relationship, as in coherent light, or light in which the electromagnetic waves maintain a fixed and predictable phase relationship with each other over a period of time.
Compare laser.
Origin of coherent
1570-80; < Medieval Latin cohērent-, variant of Latin cohaerent- (stem of cohaerēns), present participle of cohaerēre. See cohere, -ent
Related forms
coherently, adverb
noncoherent, adjective
noncoherently, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for coherent
  • These devices create coherent green light in a three step process.
  • And whereas many measures of depression and sadness have been defined, a coherent description of happiness remains elusive.
  • There is no non-mathematical vocabulary available which is going to be internally consistent and coherent in a quantum context.
  • It could, with the caveat that the transmitter and receiver need to remain coherent with each other.
  • All of this is consistent with that physicists cannot see that they have no coherent definition of photons.
  • Stars are coherent point-sources, so their light produces several phenomena seen with laser illumination.
  • It is original and logically coherent, the argument set out simply but with complete and convincing authority.
  • All these strands of evidence can be wound into a coherent narrative of a society's decline and fall.
  • The truth is that only rarely does electrical stimulation of the nervous system result in fully formed, coherent percepts.
  • He has made corrections and revisions and has made coherent arguments.
British Dictionary definitions for coherent


capable of logical and consistent speech, thought, etc
logical; consistent and orderly
cohering or sticking together
(physics) (of two or more waves) having the same phase or a fixed phase difference: coherent light
(of a system of units) consisting only of units the quotient or product of any two of which yield the unit of the resultant quantity
Derived Forms
coherently, 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
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Word Origin and History for coherent

1550s, from Middle French cohérent (16c.), from Latin cohaerentem (nominative cohaerens), present participle of cohaerere "cohere," from com- "together" (see co-) + haerere "to stick" (see hesitation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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