“The water droplets coalesced to form the Polar Molecule Coalition.”

What is the best definition of coalesce?

Check your answer!

Choice A - To be forced apart by common polarity
Choice B - To stick or adhere to another material
Choice C - To cooperate with those around you
Choice D - To join together into a common mass


Coalesce (verb) – to join together to form a single entity or mass; to unite or join forces

Coalescence (noun) – the joining or merging of distinct entities into a single mass or entity

Coalescent (adjective) – coming together to form a single entity or mass: united  

GRE pro tips:

Coalesce sounds similar to the related word coalition: an alliance or union. Unsurprisingly, the two words have related origins: coalition (coalitus) originally came from the past participle of coalesce (coalescere). You can remember coalesce as meaning to come together to form a coalition: a body of originally separate entities united into one mass or for a common purpose. For example, the militaries of several countries can coalesce (form an alliance, or coalition) in order to fight a common enemy.

But more broadly, whenever separate things join or meld together into one mass or unite into one purpose, they are coalescing (whether they intend to form a coalition or not). The words on a page, for instance, unknowingly coalesce to tell a story. And, you may have observed lights coalescing along the highway or drops of water coalescing into a puddle. Next time you see those water droplets forming a puddle, try thinking of them as coalescing into a coalition of polar molecules.

Example sentences:

“The home-improvement industry entered into a period of coalescence that saw the mergers or buyouts of several small companies.”

“The infected skin around the wound was not coalescent and had to be treated with antibiotics before it would start to heal.”