ad·he·sive (ăd-hēsĭv, -zĭv)
1. Tending to adhere; sticky.
2. Gummed so as to adhere.
3. Tending to persist; difficult if not impossible to shake off: "He feels an adhesive dread, a sudden acquaintance with the ... darker side of mankind" (George F. Will).
A substance, such as paste or cement, that provides or promotes adhesion.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.