Definition of coherent in English:



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

    ‘they failed to develop a coherent economic strategy’
    • ‘Their industrial policies are coherent and substantial.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Neither plaintiff can articulate any coherent argument, and the case ought to have been tossed out in an instant.’
    • ‘For example, I doubt that I possess a single, coherent theory of law.’
    • ‘He can put together a coherent policy programme which emphasises sensible reform of the public services and the tax and benefits system.’
    • ‘It is not surprising that his administration has failed to produce a systematic, coherent policy on religion.’
    • ‘Somehow out of these nearly antipodal situations a coherent policy of managerial control will have to be fashioned.’
    • ‘In dealing with the above topics various questions emerge: Are coherent theories and testable hypotheses presented?’
    • ‘These constitute not a coherent theory of history or of liberty but a series of insights that continue to enlighten and inspire.’
    • ‘Today the politics of these countries become more and more populist: appeals to public opinion rather than to reasoned concepts of coherent policy.’
    • ‘Well, that's not the most coherent argument I've ever put together in favor of the educational system, but you get the idea.’
    • ‘It presents a clear and coherent argument that applies historical analysis to a significant contemporary issue.’
    • ‘In this important new book, he suggests that what is lacking is a coherent theory of markets as social institutions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I fail to see how that provides a logical, coherent argument for the increase.’
    • ‘Lacking a clear or coherent argument, the book also lacks anything in the way of vivid anecdote.’
    • ‘If we can't construct coherent policies to combat crime effectively, let's just pay it protection money.’
    • ‘I can think of a lot of reasons why this is neither a good nor a 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.’
    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 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.’
      • ‘Come on Chris, go study your contraception pamphlets and military briefing papers and come back when you're coherent.’
      • ‘The leader visited the EU today and showed that he is as coherent now as he ever was.’
      • ‘She only had a mild concussion and she was coherent and trying to get up and about - otherwise, not a scratch on her.’
      • ‘A military source at Central Command said: ‘She was coherent and was able to give her rescuers the thumbs up.’’
      • ‘Although he had a few drinks he was sufficiently coherent to arrange a taxi home.’
      • ‘She was here, in the moment, and she was totally coherent and rational.’
      • ‘Now that I am coherent, I can recount our morning.’
      • ‘The thief was sober, coherent and, although clearly dangerous, seemingly intelligent.’
      • ‘I'm not coherent and relevant at the best of times, if I'm dead-on-my-feet tired it's even worse.’
      • ‘When you and Blake split, you weren't coherent about anything.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In fact I was more coherent about the general approach than I can remember being.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thanks to the fellow rider who saw the whole thing, pulled over, and made sure I was coherent.’
      • ‘You may have it wrong and backward, but at least you are coherent, unlike most on this thread.’
      • ‘But now that I'm finally coherent enough to write again, I went ahead and updated.’
      • ‘By then, he was coherent enough to be able to listen to the twin's conversation.’
  • 2United as or forming a whole.

    ‘divided into a number of geographically coherent kingdoms’
    • ‘The prize will honor a visually compelling, coherent body of work that bears witness and has integrity of purpose.’
    • ‘One is called on constantly to articulate and represent one's practice as a coherent body of work.’
    • ‘Consequently we have a relatively coherent body of knowledge about ancient Hawaiian healing practices.’
    • ‘One of the most visually coherent and imposing bodies of work I did see was that produced by a fourth year sculpture student.’
    • ‘All of these elements recur again and again, helping to create the impression of a body of work that is remarkably coherent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Indeed, the schema serves to structure the knowledge of the instances, bringing them together into a coherent network.’
    • ‘The result is an ongoing series of autobiographical films, one of the most coherent bodies of work in the cinema.’
    • ‘There is no coherent body of EC or EU law governing the position of third-country nationals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Here we have a coherent body of knowledge, which Lyndon LaRouche has developed.’
    • ‘With this work, he achieves a rare artistic testimony as well as a new step in the very coherent body of his work.’
    • ‘It also developed a coherent body of theological and administrative opinion.’
    • ‘Tattoos done in this manner - without a coherent plan for the body as a whole - are ‘guy’ tattoos.’
    • ‘As a collection of works the exhibition doesn't seem very unified, it doesn't have a coherent visual voice.’
    • ‘They often present a body of traditions and beliefs as coherent and timeless.’
    • ‘We also have a coherent body of activists who are committed to changing the world.’
    • ‘The proposed national body would be a coherent group to represent the needs of all female sports in Ireland.’
    • ‘Think security and the idea of assembling a coherent body of knowledge on a terrorist organisation.’
    • ‘Thus both sources must be read with the knowledge that a complete and coherent truth can never be fully retrieved.’
    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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A laser differs from ordinary light because it is coherent light, but that is pretty much irrelevant for propulsion purposes.’
    • ‘There are of course lasers with wavelengths in the infrared, masers that emit coherent microwaves, and even x-ray lasers.’
    • ‘In other words, the phase of the coherent matter wave is well defined but the number of atoms fluctuates from site to site.’


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