In general, the term cohesion pertains to the act, state or process of sticking together. In chemistry and physics, cohesion refers to the sticking together of alike molecules, such as water molecule being attracted to another water molecule. Cohesion also causes water molecules to form drops. Together with adhesion, It helps to explain the occurrence of surface tension and capillarity. Capillarity, which pertains to the ability of a liquid to flow through a narrow tubular channel even against gravity. Nevertheless, capillary action would work when cohesion couples with the effect of adhesion (which pertains to the attraction between unlike molecules). Cohesion, together with adhesion, results in capillary action that is essential especially in plants. The plants use capillary action to draw water upwards, i.e. from the root through the xylem vessels.
Word origin: Latin cohaesus, past participle of cohaerēre ("to cling together")
- cohesive force
- cohesive attraction
- cohesive (adjective, sticking together; tending to hold together)
- cohesively (adverb)