Definition of coherent in English:



  • 1(of an argument, theory, or policy) logical and consistent.

    ‘they failed to develop a coherent economic strategy’
    • ‘For example, I doubt that I possess a single, coherent theory of law.’
    • ‘I can think of a lot of reasons why this is neither a good nor a coherent policy.’
    • ‘Neither plaintiff can articulate any coherent argument, and the case ought to have been tossed out in an instant.’
    • ‘Today the politics of these countries become more and more populist: appeals to public opinion rather than to reasoned concepts of coherent policy.’
    • ‘The human mind is much more capable of integrating images, logos, and short sound bites than it is at comprehending any sort of coherent, logical argument.’
    • ‘Somehow out of these nearly antipodal situations a coherent policy of managerial control will have to be fashioned.’
    • ‘He can put together a coherent policy programme which emphasises sensible reform of the public services and the tax and benefits system.’
    • ‘There is little evidence the party is developing a coherent argument that would persuade voters the centre-right is attractive or even relevant to them.’
    • ‘His choice of words has occasionally been politically naive, but his views are sincerely held and his arguments are internally coherent.’
    • ‘Well, that's not the most coherent argument I've ever put together in favor of the educational system, but you get the idea.’
    • ‘I fail to see how that provides a logical, coherent argument for the increase.’
    • ‘These constitute not a coherent theory of history or of liberty but a series of insights that continue to enlighten and inspire.’
    • ‘The district attorney just says there simply isn't enough time to do what he needs to do in order to present a coherent argument tomorrow during this hearing.’
    • ‘Their industrial policies are coherent and substantial.’
    • ‘It is not surprising that his administration has failed to produce a systematic, coherent policy on religion.’
    • ‘If we can't construct coherent policies to combat crime effectively, let's just pay it protection money.’
    • ‘In this important new book, he suggests that what is lacking is a coherent theory of markets as social institutions.’
    • ‘Lacking a clear or coherent argument, the book also lacks anything in the way of vivid anecdote.’
    • ‘In dealing with the above topics various questions emerge: Are coherent theories and testable hypotheses presented?’
    • ‘It presents a clear and coherent argument that applies historical analysis to a significant contemporary issue.’
    logical, reasoned, reasonable, well reasoned, rational, sound, cogent
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) able to speak clearly and logically.
      ‘she was lucid and coherent and did not appear to be injured’
      • ‘When you and Blake split, you weren't coherent about anything.’
      • ‘She was here, in the moment, and she was totally coherent and rational.’
      • ‘Luckily, as drunk as we were, we were still coherent enough to bat away the guy's sales pitch with enough authority to be allowed to leave.’
      • ‘I'm not coherent and relevant at the best of times, if I'm dead-on-my-feet tired it's even worse.’
      • ‘The thief was sober, coherent and, although clearly dangerous, seemingly intelligent.’
      • ‘You may have it wrong and backward, but at least you are coherent, unlike most on this thread.’
      • ‘Although he had a few drinks he was sufficiently coherent to arrange a taxi home.’
      • ‘Thanks to the fellow rider who saw the whole thing, pulled over, and made sure I was coherent.’
      • ‘A military source at Central Command said: ‘She was coherent and was able to give her rescuers the thumbs up.’’
      • ‘Sitting up slowly, she pushed hair out of her eyes and glanced sleepily around, her eyes taking in the room a little more thoroughly now that she was coherent.’
      • ‘He was an extremely articulate and coherent person - he knew what he wanted, he knew why he was doing it, and he didn't see why people should have a problem with it.’
      • ‘When she does catch what we are talking about she is very coherent and has intelligent comments to make.’
      • ‘When he takes his prescription he is not coherent.’
      • ‘In fact I was more coherent about the general approach than I can remember being.’
      • ‘But now that I'm finally coherent enough to write again, I went ahead and updated.’
      • ‘The leader visited the EU today and showed that he is as coherent now as he ever was.’
      • ‘Now that I am coherent, I can recount our morning.’
      • ‘By then, he was coherent enough to be able to listen to the twin's conversation.’
      • ‘Come on Chris, go study your contraception pamphlets and military briefing papers and come back when you're coherent.’
      • ‘She only had a mild concussion and she was coherent and trying to get up and about - otherwise, not a scratch on her.’
  • 2Forming a unified whole.

    ‘the arts could be systematized into one coherent body of knowledge’
    • ‘Think security and the idea of assembling a coherent body of knowledge on a terrorist organisation.’
    • ‘There is no coherent body of EC or EU law governing the position of third-country nationals.’
    • ‘All of these elements recur again and again, helping to create the impression of a body of work that is remarkably coherent.’
    • ‘They often present a body of traditions and beliefs as coherent and timeless.’
    • ‘One of the most visually coherent and imposing bodies of work I did see was that produced by a fourth year sculpture student.’
    • ‘Consequently we have a relatively coherent body of knowledge about ancient Hawaiian healing practices.’
    • ‘It also developed a coherent body of theological and administrative opinion.’
    • ‘With this work, he achieves a rare artistic testimony as well as a new step in the very coherent body of his work.’
    • ‘Indeed, the schema serves to structure the knowledge of the instances, bringing them together into a coherent network.’
    • ‘It does not have the centralisation of religious authority which can both unify people around a coherent set of values and prevent the emergence of extremes.’
    • ‘The result is an ongoing series of autobiographical films, one of the most coherent bodies of work in the cinema.’
    • ‘One is called on constantly to articulate and represent one's practice as a coherent body of work.’
    • ‘We also have a coherent body of activists who are committed to changing the world.’
    • ‘Here we have a coherent body of knowledge, which Lyndon LaRouche has developed.’
    • ‘The prize will honor a visually compelling, coherent body of work that bears witness and has integrity of purpose.’
    • ‘Tattoos done in this manner - without a coherent plan for the body as a whole - are ‘guy’ tattoos.’
    • ‘We see the dichotomies, the wealth of paradox and the inherent contradictions but fail to see what it is that unifies them all into a coherent whole in their minds.’
    • ‘As a collection of works the exhibition doesn't seem very unified, it doesn't have a coherent visual voice.’
    • ‘Thus both sources must be read with the knowledge that a complete and coherent truth can never be fully retrieved.’
    • ‘The proposed national body would be a coherent group to represent the needs of all female sports in Ireland.’
    unified, united, consolidated, amalgamated, joined, combined, merged, fused, blended, meshed, homogeneous, homogenized, mutually dependent, assimilated, cohesive, concatenated
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  • 3Physics
    (of waves) having a constant phase relationship.

    • ‘A laser is the generator of intense coherent, electromagnetic radiation in the spectral range between ultra violet and infrared wavelengths.’
    • ‘A laser differs from ordinary light because it is coherent light, but that is pretty much irrelevant for propulsion purposes.’
    • ‘In other words, the phase of the coherent matter wave is well defined but the number of atoms fluctuates from site to site.’
    • ‘There are of course lasers with wavelengths in the infrared, masers that emit coherent microwaves, and even x-ray lasers.’
    • ‘It can be seen most clearly when a coherent wave is split into two partial waves that are then recombined to produce a pattern of bright and dark fringes on a screen.’


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘logically related to’): from Latin cohaerent- ‘sticking together’, from the verb cohaerere (see cohere).