View synonyms for inarticulate


[ in-ahr-tik-yuh-lit ]


  1. lacking the ability to express oneself, especially in clear and effective speech:

    an inarticulate public speaker.

  2. unable to use articulate speech:

    inarticulate with rage.

    Synonyms: dumb, mute

  3. not articulate; not uttered or emitted with expressive or intelligible modulations:

    His mouth stuffed, he could utter only inarticulate sounds.

  4. not fully expressed or expressible:

    a voice choked with inarticulate agony.

  5. Anatomy, Zoology. not jointed; having no articulation or joint.


/ ˌɪnɑːˈtɪkjʊlɪt /


  1. unable to express oneself fluently or clearly; incoherent
  2. (of speech, language, etc) unclear or incomprehensible; unintelligible

    inarticulate grunts

  3. unable to speak; dumb
  4. unable to be expressed; unvoiced

    inarticulate suffering

  5. biology having no joints, segments, or articulation

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Derived Forms

  • ˌinarˈticulateness, noun
  • ˌinarˈticulately, adverb

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Other Words From

  • inar·ticu·late·ly adverb
  • inar·ticu·late·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of inarticulate1

From the Late Latin word inarticulātus, dating back to 1595–1605. See in- 3, articulate

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Example Sentences

Don Draper is an inarticulate slob compared to Richard Dawson.

As I confessed in this somewhat inarticulate post, I beat that drum for a while, partly as a weapon against the religious right.

On his debut Meet the Press appearance Sunday, he was horribly inarticulate trying to defend his indefensible 9-9-9 tax plan.

Joe Biden got in trouble for calling Barack Obama “articulate,” but inarticulate is fine, right?

Mere decades earlier, American Jews had watched, trembling and inarticulate, as European Jews were destroyed.

Bernard folded his hands together—almost devoutly—and stood gazing at her with a long, inarticulate murmur of satisfaction.

Never had Tom seen his gay and careless cousin in such guise: he was restless, silent, intense and inarticulate.

But also it was an inarticulate yearning to find that state of safety where he and she dwelt secure from separation—in the 'sea.'

Shrieking inarticulate anathema, he rushed downstairs, the man in the green baize apron following at his heels.

Down the long corridors the wind mysteriously whispered, rising in inarticulate moanings and woeful sighs, as of souls in pain.


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