[ in-ahr-tik-yuh-lit ]
/ ˌɪn ɑrˈtɪk yə lɪt /
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See synonyms for: inarticulate / inarticulateness on Thesaurus.com


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.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of inarticulate

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

OTHER WORDS FROM inarticulate

in·ar·tic·u·late·ly, adverbin·ar·tic·u·late·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for inarticulate

British Dictionary definitions for inarticulate

/ (ˌɪnɑːˈtɪkjʊlɪt) /


unable to express oneself fluently or clearly; incoherent
(of speech, language, etc) unclear or incomprehensible; unintelligibleinarticulate grunts
unable to speak; dumb
unable to be expressed; unvoicedinarticulate suffering
biology having no joints, segments, or articulation

Derived forms of inarticulate

inarticulately, adverbinarticulateness or 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

Medical definitions for inarticulate

[ ĭn′är-tĭkyə-lĭt ]


Uttered without the use of normal words or syllables; incomprehensible as speech or language.
Unable to speak; speechless.
Unable to speak with clarity or eloquence.
Not having joints or segments.

Other words from inarticulate

in′ar•ticu•late•ness null n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.