Adherence – Definition & Meaning

Adherence is a term that is often used in various contexts to describe a person’s commitment or dedication to a particular cause, belief, or practice. It is a crucial concept in many areas of life, including healthcare, business, and politics. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of adherence, its origin, and its associations, synonyms, and antonyms.


Adherence can be defined as the act of following or sticking to a particular rule, policy, or practice. It refers to the extent to which an individual or group complies with a prescribed course of action. In healthcare, adherence is often used to describe a patient’s willingness to follow a treatment plan or medication regimen. In business, adherence is used to describe the extent to which employees follow company policies and procedures.


The word adherence comes from the Latin word adhaerentia, which means “sticking to” or “clinging to.” The word first appeared in English in the 15th century and was used to describe the act of attaching or sticking something to something else.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, adherence means “the act, adherence, or quality of adhering.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines adherence as “the quality or state of adhering; attachment or fidelity to a person, cause, or principle.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines adherence as “the act of following a rule or staying attached to a particular thing, especially a belief or a way of life.”


Adherence is often associated with concepts such as compliance, fidelity, loyalty, and dedication. In healthcare, adherence is associated with improved health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs. In business, adherence is associated with increased productivity and efficiency.


Some synonyms of adherence include:

  • Compliance.
  • Conformity.
  • Obedience.
  • Fidelity.
  • Loyalty.
  • Devotion.
  • Dedication.
  • Commitment.
  • Faithfulness.


Some antonyms of adherence include:

  • Noncompliance.
  • Disobedience.
  • Defiance.
  • Disloyalty.
  • Infidelity.
  • Inconstancy.
  • Unfaithfulness.
  • Indifference.

The same root words

Some words that share the same root as adherence include:

  • Adhesive.
  • Adhesion.
  • Adherent.
  • Cohesion.
  • Inherent.

Example Sentences

  • The patient’s adherence to the medication regimen was crucial to his recovery.
  • The company’s strict adherence to safety protocols prevented any accidents from occurring.
  • The politician’s adherence to his party’s platform earned him the support of his constituents.
  • The athlete’s adherence to a strict training regimen helped him win the gold medal.
  • The teacher’s adherence to the curriculum ensured that her students were well-prepared for the exam.
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