Difference Between Adhesion and Cohesion (With Table)

Molecules are drawn to one another by the adhesion and cohesive forces. One sort of force is repulsion, whereas the other type is the attraction of molecules to one another. Adhesive forces attract different molecules, yet the same molecules are drawn together by cohesion forces. You can better comprehend how the body works with the aid of both.

Adhesion vs Cohesion

The main difference between adhesion and cohesion is that adhesion is the force of attraction between two different substances, while Cohesion is between two identical molecules. The adhesion attraction is characterized by van der Walls, while the cohesion attraction is represented by electrostatic attraction.

Adhesion – A term used to describe the ability of anything to stick to something else. To summarize, it may be described as the attraction between atoms or molecules of two different substances. Adhesion is the attraction of various kinds of molecules to one another. With the assistance of solid adhesion strength, liquid can spread on a solid surface. Adhesion is the desire for one molecule to adhere to another specific molecule.

Cohesion– On the other hand, it is defined as the attraction of molecules among two identical kinds of material. And Cohesion is the attractive force present in both solid and liquid matter, and they are intermolecular attractions since they are located in the same material.

Comparison Table Between Adhesion and Cohesion

DefinitionAdhesion is the attraction of two molecules. However, it is an attraction of two separate substances.Cohesion is likewise the force of attraction between molecules, but it is the same material that the molecules are made of.
Type Adhesion is described as the attractive forces between two molecules when it comes to adhesion. However, it may also be characterized as the degree of an intramolecular interaction between two different substances.Although Cohesion is defined as the attraction between two molecules, it is the vital force of intermolecular attraction.
Attraction forcesVan der Waals forces plus hydrogen bonds are two types of attraction forces that are both prevalent in chemistry.An electrostatic force of attraction is present in this force of attraction.
ExamplesBecause of adhesion, it is possible to distribute the liquid over the surface of a solid object.The Cohesion of the fluid induces the development of droplets of water on the liquid surface utilizing the cohesiveness of the liquid.
EffectThe activity of meniscus capillary action.The surface tension, capillarity, and meniscus all play a role when it comes to water.

What is Adhesion?

The molecule-to-molecule attraction is called adhesion. The chemicals adhere to one another as a result of this. Adhesion may be seen in many places in nature, including plants, animals, and human beings. Because this force of attraction is fighting against the force of gravity, the droplets of water will not fall. As a result, you may see water droplets clinging to branches and foliage during the monsoon season.

For water to rise against gravity, it has to have a strong adhesion force, which is why it adheres to the leaves of the tree and the vessel. Because of the power of attraction and adhesion that water droplets experience as they fall on various surfaces, such as clothing, containers, trees, and more, you can see them wherever you go.

Likewise, as the ink runs through a pen, the adhesive force of attraction aids in the process. Because of this, you may rely on your daily routines to keep you going.

What is Cohesion?

Cohesion is the unification of the molecules since it is the attractive force between the identical molecules of a substance. The cohesive attraction force that binds two molecules of the same material together is similar to the power of unity to keep individuals together, as you may know. Water molecules are drawn together by the force of this attraction.

Only with the aid of the cohesive power of attraction can one water molecule attach to another water molecule. External factors are not necessary to maintain Cohesion. The water has a spherical drop-like form due to Cohesion with the aid of another surface.

The least amount of area is occupied by water when put in a dry region instead of on a flat surface. The fundamental reason for raindrops falling to the ground is the Cohesion of the atmosphere.

Cohesion is responsible for the water adhering to the container wall when you pour it from one container to the next when you move water between them. To put it another way, the cohesion force of attraction is a kind of attraction between molecules that maintains the integrity of a link. Adhesive attraction is more potent than Cohesion.

Main Differences Between Adhesion and Cohesion

  1. Adhesion molecules are attracted to one other because of their differing chemical compositions. But on the other hand, Cohesion is the attraction that brings two molecules together to form a solid bond.
  2. Make a bond with what attracts you. For example, Cohesion gives water its spherical shape, while its sticky properties. So, they each have their unique approaches to the same problem.
  3. Compared to the cohesive force of attraction, adhesion has greater pulling power in the water. Because of this, the water clings to the containers rather than dripping to the ground.
  4. Adhesion and cohesiveness are two of the most crucial qualities for the survival of plants, respectively, yet they are not the same.
  5. It is possible to obtain the actual outcome with a strong, cohesive force if the adhesive strength is more intense.


As the molecules are attracted to one another, the force of attraction between them is called Cohesion or adhesion. Because both Cohesion and adhesion operate against the force of gravity, water droplets adhere to the leaves of trees. As a result, both adhesion and Cohesion are natural forces that benefit the water.

Both of these forces assist you in your day-to-day activities, and you can see the adhesion of water droplets to clothing, vessels, and trees in your immediate environment. All of these are caused by the force of adhesion and the force of cohesive attraction.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0361198105190100105
  2. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijd/2012/951324/