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[ahr-ti-kuh l] /ˈɑr tɪ kəl/
a written composition in prose, usually nonfiction, on a specific topic, forming an independent part of a book or other publication, as a newspaper or magazine.
an individual object, member, or portion of a class; an item or particular:
an article of food; articles of clothing.
something of indefinite character or description:
What is that article?
an item for sale; commodity.
Grammar. any member of a small class of words, or, as in Swedish or Romanian, affixes, found in certain languages, as English, French, and Arabic, that are linked to nouns and that typically have a grammatical function identifying the noun as a noun rather than describing it. In English the definite article is the, the indefinite article is a or an, and their force is generally to impart specificity to the noun or to single out the referent from the class named by the noun.
a clause, item, point, or particular in a contract, treaty, or other formal agreement; a condition or stipulation in a contract or bargain:
The lawyers disagreed on the article covering plagiarism suits.
a separate clause or provision of a statute.
Slang. a person.
Archaic. a subject or matter of interest, thought, business, etc.
Obsolete. a specific or critical point of time; juncture or moment:
the article of death.
verb (used with object), articled, articling.
to set forth in articles; charge or accuse specifically:
They articled his alleged crimes.
to bind by articles of covenant or stipulation:
to article an apprentice.
Origin of article
1200-50; Middle English < Anglo-French, Medieval Latin articulus article of faith, Latin: joint, limb, member, clause, grammatical article, equivalent to arti- (combining form of artus joint; akin to arthro-, arm2) + -culus -cule1
Related forms
subarticle, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for articles


one of a class of objects; item: an article of clothing
an unspecified or previously named thing, esp a small object: he put the article on the table
a distinct part of a subject or action
a written composition on a subject, often being one of several found in a magazine, newspaper, etc
(grammar) a kind of determiner, occurring in many languages including English, that lacks independent meaning but may serve to indicate the specificity of reference of the noun phrase with which it occurs See also definite article, indefinite article
a clause or section in a written document such as a treaty, contract, statute, etc
in articles, formerly, undergoing training, according to the terms of a written contract, in the legal profession
(often capital) (Christianity) See article of faith, Thirty-nine Articles
(archaic) a topic or subject
verb (transitive)
(archaic) to accuse
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin articulus small joint, from artus joint
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for articles



c.1200, "separate parts of anything written" (e.g. the statements in the Apostles' Creed, the clauses of a statute or contract), from Old French article (13c.), from Latin articulus, diminutive of artus "a joint" (from PIE *ar-tu-, from *ar- "to fit together;" (see arm (n.1)).

Meaning extended to "a small division," then generalized to "item, thing." Older sense preserved in Articles of War "military regulations" (1716) and Articles of Confederation (U.S. history). Meaning "literary composition in a journal, etc." (independent, but part of a larger work) first recorded 1712. Meaning "piece of property" (clothing, etc.) first attested 1796, originally in rogue's cant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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articles in Culture

articles definition

In grammar, the words a, an, and the, which precede a noun or its modifier. The is the definite article; a and an are indefinite articles.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for articles



A person, esp one considered to be clever, cute, or resourceful; number •Always preceded by an adjective or by the locution ''Quite an'': He is some slick article/ Your little sister's quite an article

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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