The term “cohesive” comes from the Latin word “cohaesivus,” which means “sticking together.” This is derived from the Latin verb “cohaerere,” meaning “to stick together,” which itself comes from “co-” meaning “together” and “haerere,” meaning “to stick.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “*gheu-” means “to pour” or “to mix.”

2. Latin

From the PIE root, the Latin word “haerere” developed, meaning “to stick” or “to adhere.” The verb “cohaerere” combines “co-” (together) and “haerere” (to stick), meaning “to stick together” or “to be consistent.” The adjective “cohaesivus” is derived from “cohaerere,” meaning “having the quality of sticking together.”

3. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “cohaesivus” evolved into Old French “cohesif,” meaning “sticking together” or “united.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “cohesif” was adopted into Middle English as “cohesif,” retaining the meaning of “sticking together” or “united.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “cohesive” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, retaining the meaning of “forming a united whole” or “sticking together.”

Phonetic Evolution

Over time, the pronunciation of “cohesive” has remained relatively stable, transitioning from Old French “cohesif” to Modern English “cohesive.”

Usage Examples

  • “The team worked together in a cohesive manner to complete the project.”
  • “Another example of ‘cohesive’ in a sentence is ‘Her essay was well-organized and cohesive, with each paragraph flowing logically into the next.'”

Cultural or Historical Notes

The development of the word “cohesive” was significantly influenced by its use in describing the quality of being united and sticking together in various contexts, such as social groups, materials, and writing. Cohesion has been essential in achieving unity, strength, and effectiveness.

The word “cohesive” reflects the importance of unity, consistency, and sticking together in forming a strong and effective whole, emphasizing the role of cohesion in creating harmony and effectiveness in groups, materials, and ideas.