Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Coalesce

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is coalesce. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Coalesce means “to come together to form one group or mass” or “to join forces.”

// The club’s community service projects provide students with a common goal to coalesce around. 

// The ice masses coalesced into a glacier over time.

COALESCE in Context

“This is European soccer—or, at least, an idealized version of it: clubs that represent something greater than themselves, offering communities narratives to coalesce around.” — Tom McTague, The Atlantic, 28 May 2022

Did You Know?

The meaning of many English words equals the sum of their parts, and coalesce is a fitting example. The word unites the prefix co- (“together”) and the Latin verb alescere, meaning “to grow.” Coalesce is one of a number of English verbs (along with mix, commingle, merge, and amalgamate) that refer to the act of combining parts into a whole. In particular, coalesce usually implies the merging of similar parts to form a cohesive unit, such as a political ideology, a fan-following, or (perish the thought) a Portuguese man-of-war, the body of which includes three types of zooids.

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