Definition of adhesion in US English:



  • 1The action or process of adhering to a surface or object.

    ‘the adhesion of the Scotch tape to the paper’
    • ‘They will achieve high adhesion on almost any surface.’
    • ‘Another favorite for secure adhesion on a variety of surfaces is contact cement.’
    • ‘Be sure that there is good adhesion to the concrete.’
    • ‘However, there was a substantial difference in adhesion to collagen-coated plates.’
    • ‘He is indued in his flannels; face, arms, and legs, body all being covered, so as nearly to resemble a man in chain armour, from the adhesion of the burrs.’
    • ‘The product cures in four hours without gassing or pinholes, while exhibiting strong adhesion to the surface.’
    • ‘In addition to adhesion based on suction, the rim of the sucker can be bent on each side to enclose and grip thin filaments and sheets.’
    • ‘In some cases, the adhesive should be allowed to tack sufficiently in order to provide greater adhesion and prevent adhesive bleed through.’
    • ‘Metal pans eventually rust and lose adhesion to the sealer.’
    • ‘The strong adhesion that occurs between the bitumen and mineral aggregate enables the bitumen to act as a binder, with the mineral aggregate providing mechanical strength for the road.’
    • ‘A bonding layer to provide adhesion is required.’
    • ‘The type of binder and amount used affect everything from stain and crack resistance to adhesion.’
    • ‘Paint peeling, blistering and flaking occurs when moisture under a non-breathing film finish destroys the film's adhesion to the wood.’
    • ‘Plain material, often paper, is usually applied horizontally and used under wallcoverings to assure a smoother surface and better adhesion.’
    • ‘This could allow for adhesion to hooves and fur as well as boots and motorized vehicle tires and suggests a potential for plants to be dispersed outside of floodplains.’
    • ‘This type of failure occurs when the adhesion of the sealant to the substrate it was applied to fails.’
    • ‘The team's previous research ruled out two other possible forms of adhesion: suction and chemical bonding.’
    • ‘The edge strips were glued in place, held down with sticky tape to ensure good adhesion and left 24 Hrs for the adhesive to fully cure.’
    • ‘This selective texturing alters the surface to provide good adhesion between the tube and the molded or attached components.’
    • ‘When insulation is used in the cavity, foam-board adhesive is applied to the back for adhesion.’
    sticking, adherence, gluing, fixing, fastening, union
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    1. 1.1 The frictional grip of wheels, shoes, etc., on a road, track, or other surface.
      ‘the front tires were struggling for adhesion’
      • ‘A hint of tyre screech indicated we were approaching the limit of adhesion and our heart rates quickened.’
      • ‘Must be able to produce optimum adhesion to the racing surface and enhance the aerodynamic balance of a racecar at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.’
      • ‘To produce grip, a tyre needs a partner - the track surface - to stimulate the mechanisms that generate grip: a tyre's ability to mould itself to surface imperfections and molecular adhesion.’
      • ‘Siemens and the Technical University of Darmstadt are working with tyre manufacturer Continental on a project using sensors to monitor pressure, temperature and adhesion in a rolling tyre.’
      • ‘No more excuses about leaves on the track - this type of adhesion makes it able to move faster over gradients.’
      • ‘Everything from gear ratios to damping and adhesion respond as one whole.’
      • ‘Where normal street tyres would be screaming in protest, approaching the very high limit of adhesion in a bend produces chirping noises from the Cup tyres.’
      • ‘The Tamora is a car in which to enjoy cross country treks without having to push it to the limits of adhesion.’
      • ‘It is always a good idea to get better tire adhesion to the rim this way, and it might also stick down those parts right by the valve that you mention.’
      • ‘Adding a softer fire will give the cars more adhesion to the track, but the tires lasted only 20 laps during test runs at Las Vegas, and that reduction in durability will change pit road strategy.’
      • ‘Starting a train from rest with limited power and adhesion of the rear wheels only was always a problem.’
      • ‘Extra adhesion comes from the Pirelli Scorpion 305/40 R22 tires.’
      • ‘It made me realize how road-surface adhesion can change.’
      • ‘Crushed leaves become slippery when wet, and the poor adhesion between wheel and track makes it difficult for trains to slow down and stop.’
      • ‘Racing appears the most absurd outgrowth of our fascination with the car: drivers hurtle around in circles, at the limits of adhesion.’
      • ‘After that there was an ice and snow circle track where you could push the cars up to where normally centrifugal force would take over from gravity and tyres adhesion and spin a vehicle into the ditch.’
      • ‘Perhaps a bit ‘floatier’ than the saloon, but that didn't translate at all into fluffy cornering or road adhesion on less-than-good roads.’
      traction, grip, purchase, friction, resistance
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    2. 1.2Physics The sticking together of particles of different substances.
      • ‘At this average receptor density, if all the particles are homogeneous, there are too few receptors on any particle to support any adhesion.’
      • ‘Direct evidence that the cooperative binding associated with clustering increases adhesion has been provided by atomic force microscopy.’
      • ‘The electrostatic theory suggests that adhesion is the result of differences in the electronegativities of adhering materials.’
      • ‘For one, reducing the modulus simultaneously makes the surface more susceptible to adhesion by particulates.’
      • ‘When a molecule attracts to a different substance, this is termed adhesion.’
    3. 1.3 Allegiance or faithfulness to a particular person, party, or set of ideas.
      ‘he was harshly criticized for his adhesion to the old bureaucracy’
      • ‘Its only commitments, expressed with imprecision, were to statutory recognition, a minimum wage and adhesion to the EU Social Chapter.’
      • ‘And their professed adhesion to the economic formula of Socialism would not of itself be good enough to alter my attitude towards them.’
      • ‘Most Baptists have suspected its adhesion to a government or to leftist politics, a supposition that led to its open rejection.’
      • ‘The group now has 140 members, with a positive trend of adhesion (nearly 100 per cent in the last year).’
      • ‘He could not emphasize his more practical reasons for making reservations in his first letters of adhesion to the Roman Catholic hierarchy.’
      • ‘Experience has already shown that whatever plans drawn by foreigners have failed to deliver the goods because they are always inexplicable and lack that important local adhesion.’
      • ‘The protection of minorities, which is one of the political criteria for adhesion to the European Union, has led to programs aimed at improving the lot of Gypsies in central Europe.’
      • ‘These pressures are likely to create more conflict within the party than the adhesion to an orthodox economic policy.’
      • ‘To be fair to Bodin, the offenses poured out against him by his malicious contemporaries at the time of his adhesion to the League should be analyzed and understood historically.’
      • ‘In 1899, he stood with his family and his people, while his uncle touched the pen on behalf of his band to signify the signing of an adhesion to Treaty 8.’
  • 2Medicine
    An abnormal union of membranous surfaces due to inflammation or injury.

    ‘endoscopic surgery for pelvic adhesions’
    • ‘Postoperative adhesions often form in women after reproductive pelvic surgery.’
    • ‘There are no adhesions, abnormal fluid collection, or unusual color changes.’
    • ‘Pelvic inflammatory disease, surgery or endometriosis can cause adhesions or scar tissue.’
    • ‘Rubbery bands of scar tissue, called adhesions, may form.’
    • ‘The surgeon looks for adhesions and other abnormalities.’


Late 15th century: from French adhésion, from Latin adhaesio(n-), from the verb adhaerere (see adhere).