Difference between adhesive and cohesive
adhesive vs cohesive:
Distinguishing the difference between the two words adhesive and cohesive can be quite confusing to many. And yet, these are two adjectives which are used to describe nouns and the definitions of these two words are quite different from each other.
What is adhesive ?
Adhesive is used both as an adjective and a noun and is defined as being ‘’Able to stick fast to a surface or object- sticky’’ or as “A substance used for sticking objects or materials together’’ such as glue. Adhesive is the adjective which is derived from of the verb ‘adhere’ which means obey and can therefore carry the meaning of complying to something as well. Adhesive as an adjective can be used in terms of bandages as there exists ‘adhesive bandages’ and adhesive as a noun can be used in reference to a substance which paste several things together and is inclined to be sticky or clingy according to the context. Some synonyms for adhesive can be stated as agglutinate, attaching, attaching,etc.
What is cohesive ?
Derived from the the verb cohere, the word cohesive is often used as an adjective and can be defined as ‘cohering or tending to cohere; well-integrated; unified’ such as a tightly knit group, for example a cohesive family or a cohesive working group. In physics, the word cohesive means ‘of or pertaining to the molecular force within a body or substance acting to unite its parts’. Therefore, the word cohesive can be defined as something that is unified and as a result, functions well together.
What is the difference between cohesive and adhesive ?
While adhesive and cohesive can be quite confusing specially due to the similarity of their meanings, the usage of these two words are done in quite different contexts. While adhesive is defined as the quality of being sticky or being able to paste several things together, cohesive is defined as the quality of being unified which is largely due to the quality of being understandable.
Adhesive can be used as an adjective and a noun both. Whereas adhesive is referred to as the quality of being sticky or clingy, it is also referred to a substance which binds several materials together. And yet, the word cohesive cannot be used as a noun. The noun of cohesive would be cohesion.
The word adhesive is typically used in terms of materials or objects. One talks of adhesive bandages or plasters but one does not speak of an adhesive group or a community. Yet the word cohesive is often used in referring to people or individuals. One speaks of cohesive communities or cohesive business groups and yet, it can be used when speaking of materials too as one often speaks of cohesive ingredients in a certain salad or a broth or a cohesive passage which defines a certain text which is easily understood.