Although coherence has become one of the key concepts in contemporary legal theory, its meaning is taken almost universally to be elusive, complex and controversial. However, these difficulties are due just to the failure of commentators to distinguish the intension of the notion from other features of its (many) referents in extension. The oversight has caused qualities to be ascribed routinely to coherence that properly attach to various object(s) of which coherence is predicated, and which a theorist happens to have in mind when bringing coherence into view. This conceptual error has significance for the substance of present claims made for the use of the notion in law. Freed from the entanglement, coherence emerges thinner and fitter, better able to be deployed with confidence in legal application.