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See also: cohésion and cohesión


Alternative forms[edit]


Attested from the late 17th century, borrowed from French cohésion, from Latin cohaesiō, cohaesiōnem.[1]



cohesion (usually uncountable, plural cohesions)

  1. State of cohering, or of working together.
    Unit cohesion is important in the military.
    • 1905 April, Jack London, “(please specify the page)”, in War of the Classes, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      For divers reasons, the capitalist class lacks this cohesion or solidarity, chief among which is the optimism bred of past success. And, again, the capitalist class is divided; it has within itself a class struggle of no mean proportions, which tends to irritate and harass it and to confuse the situation.
  2. (physics, chemistry) Various intermolecular forces that hold solids and liquids together.
  3. (biology) Growing together of normally distinct parts of a plant.
  4. (software engineering) Degree to which functionally related elements in a system belong together.
    Coordinate term: coupling
    • 2009, Robert C. Martin, chapter 10, in Clean Code, Prentice Hall, →ISBN, page 140:
      In general, it is neither advisable nor possible to create such maximally cohesive classes; on the other hand, we would like cohesion to be high. When cohesion is high, it means that the methods and variables of the class are co-dependent and hang together as a logical whole.
  5. (linguistics) Grammatical or lexical relationship between different parts of the same text.
    Coordinate term: coherence


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


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  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “cohesion”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.