1. Not coherent.
    1. Not making logical sense; not logically connected or consistent.
      When we confronted her, she gave us a hasty, incoherent explanation.
      After just a few drinks, he becomes incoherent.
      • 1599, Ralph Brooke, A Discouerie of Certaine Errours Published in Print in the Much Commended Britannia, London, p. 35,
        By which thus still ouermuch busying your selfe in matters passing your skill, it maketh you so forgetfull, that oftentimes you are faine to vtter matters incoherent, and much contradictorie.
      • 1765, William Warburton, The Divine Legation of Moses, London: A. Millar and J. and R. Tonson, 4th edition, Volume 3, Book 4, Section 4, p. 103, note z,
        […] this historian of men and manners goes on in the same rambling incoherent manner […]
      • 1881, Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady, Volume 1, Chapter 15,
        […] the big dark dining table twinkled here and there in the small candle-light; the pictures on the wall, all of them very brown, looked vague and incoherent.
      • 1980, Barry Unsworth, Pascali's Island (novel), Penguin, 1988, p. 154,
        It was as if he was in fear of being swamped, rendered incoherent, by the sheer marvelousness of what he was relating.
      • 2002, Julian Barnes, Something to Declare, New York: Knopf, Chapter 1, p. 10,
        The historian […] is a sort of novelist, but one who instead of inventing plot and character is obliged to discover them; who instead of setting characters in motion against one another with foreknowledge of their natures and destinies tries to guess at what often incoherent characters were up to amid a distraction of lies and suppressions.
    2. (obsolete) Not holding together physically; loose; unconnected.
      • 1690, John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, London: Thomas Basset, The Epistle to the Reader,
        […] Some hasty and undigested Thoughts, on a Subject I had never before considered, which I set down against our next Meeting, gave the first entrance into this Discourse, which having been thus begun by Chance, was continued by Intreaty; written by incoherent parcels; and, after long intervals of neglect, resum'd again, as my Humour or Occasions permitted; and at last, in a retirement, where an Attendence on my Health gave me leisure, it was brought into that order thou now seest it.
      • 1695, John Woodward, An Essay toward a Natural History of the Earth and Terrestrial Bodies, London: Richard Wilkin, Part 2, p. 110,
        That Sand-Stone does not still consolidate: i.e. that Matter which was, a few Years ago, lax, incoherent, and in form of Earth, or of Sand, does not become daily more hard and consistent, and by little and little acquire a perfect Solidity, and so turn to Stone; as others have asserted.
      • 1696, John Sergeant (priest), The Method to Science, London, Book 3, pp. 228-229,
        […] sooner, may all the Material World crumble into Incoherent Atoms, or relapse into the Abyss of Nothingness, than that any Conclusion, thus deduced, can be False […]
    3. Not cohering socially, not united.
      • 1888, Samuel Moore (translator), The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1906, p. 25,
        At this stage the labourers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country, and broken up by their mutual competition.
      • 1961, James Baldwin, in James Baldwin: Collected Essays, New York: Library of America, 1998, p. 223,
        […] because I am an American writer my subject and my material inevitably has to be a handful of incoherent people in an incoherent country.
      • 1969, Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness, New York: Ace, 2010, Chapter 8,
        I was glad, now, to be out of Karhide, an incoherent land driven towards violence by a paranoid, pregnant king and an egomaniac Regent.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations
  • German: lose, nicht verbunden, nicht zusammenhängend
  • Portuguese: incoerente
  • Russian: ры́хлый

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