Adherent – Definition & Meaning

The term “adherent” is commonly used in everyday language, but what does it actually mean? In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of “adherent,” its origin, and its associations in different contexts.


An “adherent” is someone who supports or follows a person, group, or idea. The term can also refer to something that sticks or clings to a surface. In a medical context, an adherent is someone who follows a prescribed treatment plan.


The word “adherent” comes from the Latin word “adhaerentem,” which means “to stick or cling to.” The term has been used in English since the 17th century.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an adherent is “a person who supports a particular party, person, or set of ideas.” Merriam-Webster defines adherent as “one who adheres to something (such as a party, a cause, or a religious faith).” The Cambridge Dictionary describes an adherent as “someone who strongly supports a particular person, principle, or set of ideas.”


The term “adherent” is often used in political and religious contexts to describe supporters of a particular party or faith. In medicine, the term is used to describe patients who follow a prescribed treatment plan. In science, an “adherent cell” is a type of cell that attaches to a surface and grows in a flat layer.


Synonyms for “adherent” include supporter, follower, devotee, disciple, partisan, and advocate.


Antonyms for “adherent” include opponent, detractor, critic, and adversary.

The same root words

Words with the same root as “adherent” include adhesive, adhesion, and adhere.

Example Sentences

  • The political candidate had many adherents who supported his campaign.
  • The religious leader had a large group of adherents who followed his teachings.
  • The patient was considered an adherent because he consistently followed his medication regimen.
  • The scientist studied the behavior of adherent cells in a laboratory setting.
  • The glue was so strong that it created a strong adherent bond between the two surfaces.
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