One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The action, state, or fact of adhering to a person or thing; especially steadfast support, allegiance. Also occasionally: an instance of this.
2A group of adherents or supporters; a following. rare after 17th cent.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Geoffrey Fenton (c1539–1608), translator and administrator in Ireland. From post-classical Latin adhaerentia adherence; compare -y, -ency. Compare earlier adherent.
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