stick, cling, hold fast

Quick Summary

The Latin root word her and its variant hes both mean “stick.” These roots are the word origin of various English vocabulary words, including adhere and adhesive. When glue adheres to paper, it “sticks” to it, for glue is an adhesive which causes things to “stick” together.

Don't Hesitate over Her!

The Latin root word her and its variant hes both mean “stick.” So as to not get in a “sticky” situation when seeing these root words, let’s take a short vocabulary journey to make these roots “stick” in your mind.

First let’s take a look at the Latin root word her, which means “stick.” When glue adheres to paper, it “sticks” to it. Adherents of a particular political candidate are supporters because they etymologically “stick” to that politician.

Your English teachers have probably talked about coherent essay writing, the “sticking” together of words in an economical, intelligible way. If you write or speak in an incoherent fashion, your words don’t “stick” together very well, causing confusion and a lack of clarity. The prose of excellent writers usually coheres, or “sticks” together flawlessly.

Since that’s “stuck,” let’s move on to the variant hes, which also means “stick.” When you hesitate over a decision, you become “stuck” as to what to do, remaining undecided as to the proper course of action. Ever used super glue? You might be hesitant, or “sticking” in indecision, before using that adhesive, which “sticks” to practically anything, and is very hard to remove.

Back to your English teacher. When she asks you to give a cohesive argument in a paper, she is asking that your words all “stick” together in a smooth flow, rather than adding in extra fluff. If indeed you do achieve cohesion of words, your entire essay exhibits the property of “sticking” together nicely, and you’ll probably get an A on it!

Now that both her and hes are “sticking” nicely in your mind, you’ll no longer get “stuck” on her, even if it is Valentine’s Day!

  1. adhere: ‘stick’ to
  2. adherent: one who ‘sticks’ to someone else
  3. coherent: ‘sticking’ together
  4. incoherent: not sticking ‘together’
  5. cohere: ‘stick’ together
  6. hesitate: to ‘stick’ in indecision
  7. hesitant: ‘sticking’ in indecision
  8. cohesive: of ‘sticking’ together
  9. cohesion: act of ‘sticking’ together


  • adherent

    An adherent is a supporter or follower of a leader or a cause.

  • incoherent

    Someone who is speaking in an incoherent fashion cannot be understood or is very hard to understand.

  • inherent

    An inherent characteristic is one that exists in a person at birth or in a thing naturally.

  • adhere

    be compatible or in accordance with

  • cohere

    come or be in close contact with

  • coherent

    marked by an orderly, logical, and aesthetically consistent relation of parts

  • inhere

    be inherent in something

Related Word Sums

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