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[in-ahr-tik-yuh-lit] /ˌɪn ɑrˈtɪk yə lɪt/
lacking the ability to express oneself, especially in clear and effective speech:
an inarticulate public speaker.
unable to use articulate speech:
inarticulate with rage.
not articulate; not uttered or emitted with expressive or intelligible modulations:
His mouth stuffed, he could utter only inarticulate sounds.
not fully expressed or expressible:
a voice choked with inarticulate agony.
Anatomy, Zoology. not jointed; having no articulation or joint.
Origin of inarticulate
From the Late Latin word inarticulātus, dating back to 1595-1605. See in-3, articulate
Related forms
inarticulately, adverb
inarticulateness, noun
2. mute, dumb. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inarticulately
Historical Examples
  • Dimly, inarticulately, they feel that the world's advantages are for them and for their children.

    The Next Step

    Scott Nearing
  • Well may mankind shriek, inarticulately anathematising as they can.

    The French Revolution Thomas Carlyle
  • Margerine, whom we left a fortnight ago inarticulately gurgling by the trout-stream, caught the note of a step in the briar-patch.

  • I heard Holgate's voice raised wheezily in orders, and the replies of the men came back to me inarticulately.

    Hurricane Island

    H. B. Marriott Watson
  • He kissed the hand of Mrs. Stafford, and inarticulately expressed his thanks for her goodness to his sister.


    Charlotte Turner Smith
  • And as he saw her happiness, tears came to Ruperts eyes and he felt himself, deeply and inarticulately, blessing Mrs. Dallas.

    Christmas Roses and Other Stories Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • "I always knew it would come out," the Minister muttered, inarticulately protesting against this estimate of his intelligence.

    What Not Rose Macaulay
  • Suddenly the lids drooped; she grew drowsy, but continued to murmur, incoherently at first, then inarticulately.

    Flamsted quarries Mary E. Waller
  • Now she struggled to her feet again and shouted, inarticulately and gladly through her tears.

    A Voice in the Wilderness Grace Livingston Hill
  • It was a penetrating concord of inarticulately pleading, accusing sounds, accompanied by gestures of the most exquisite propriety.

    Italian Hours Henry James
British Dictionary definitions for inarticulately


unable to express oneself fluently or clearly; incoherent
(of speech, language, etc) unclear or incomprehensible; unintelligible: inarticulate grunts
unable to speak; dumb
unable to be expressed; unvoiced: inarticulate suffering
(biology) having no joints, segments, or articulation
Derived Forms
inarticulately, adverb
inarticulateness, inarticulacy, noun
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 inarticulately



c.1600, "not clear or intelligible" (of speech), from Late Latin inarticulatus "inarticulate, indistinct," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + articulatus, past participle of articulare (see articulation). Related: Inarticulately; inarticulateness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inarticulately in Medicine

inarticulate in·ar·tic·u·late (ĭn'är-tĭk'yə-lĭt)

  1. Uttered without the use of normal words or syllables; incomprehensible as speech or language.

  2. Unable to speak; speechless.

  3. Unable to speak with clarity or eloquence.

  4. Not having joints or segments.

in'ar·tic'u·late·ness or in'ar·tic'u·la·cy (-lə-sē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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