See also: adhère and adhéré


Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English *adheren (suggested by Middle English adherande (adhering, adherent, present participle)), from Latin adhaerēre, adhaesum: ad (to) + haerēre (to stick). Compare French adhérer.


  • (US) IPA(key): /ædˈhiɹ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪə(ɹ)


adhere (third-person singular simple present adheres, present participle adhering, simple past and past participle adhered)

Sand adhered to the body
  1. (intransitive) To stick fast or cleave, as a glutinous substance does; to become joined or united.
    Synonyms: cleave, cling, stick; see also Thesaurus:adhere
    wax adhered to his finger
    • December 23 2016, Victoria Neff in Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald, The story of mistletoe
      Mistletoe is an evergreen perennial shrub that has female plants that produce white berries. These white berries are a favorite food of birds who help to reseed the sticky seeds that adhere to tree branches.
    • 1905, Anna Botsford Comstock, How to Keep Bees Chapter 16
      The sure test of the presence of the disease is found in the dead body of the larva, which is dark and discoloured; and if a toothpick or pin be thrust into it and then drawn back, the body contents will adhere to it in a stringy mass, to the extent of a half or even an entire inch, as if it were mucous or glue; later the bodies of the larvae dry and appear as black scales in the cell bottoms.
  2. (intransitive, figuratively) To be attached or devoted by personal union, in belief, on principle, etc.
    • December 13 2016, Secret aid worker, Secret aid worker: NGOs can be efficient, if it involves sacrificing staff
      But from then on, everything went full speed. A tight timeline was adhered to and it became clear that the organisation’s new direction saw no value in keeping or developing the talents it had previously hired.
    • 1913, William Stanley Braithwaite, A Foremost American Lyrist: An Appreciation
      She has conceived the high function of poetry as an interpretation and criticism of life, adhering to the canons of her beloved master, Matthew Arnold, and has proven her worth, and the right to receive and exercise the spiritual influence inherited from that great and austere poet.
    • 1829, Washington Irving, Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada Chapter 20
      King Ferdinand adopted the magnanimous measure recommended by the queen, but he accompanied it with several shrewd conditions, exacting tribute, military services, and safe passages and maintenance for Christian troops throughout the places which should adhere to Boabdil.
  3. (intransitive, figuratively) To be consistent or coherent; to be in accordance; to agree.
    • 2017 September 27, David Browne, "Hugh Hefner, 'Playboy' Founder, Dead at 91," Rolling Stone
      For the most part, Hefner's female companions all adhered to the same mold: twentysomething, bosomy and blonde. "Well, I guess I know what I like," he once said when asked about his preferences.
  4. (Scotland, law) To affirm a judgment.

Usage notesEdit

  • The verb is intransitive but often takes the preposition "to".

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of adhēreō