- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordsincoherent, dumb, halting, hesitant, hesitating, inaudible, incomprehensible, indistinct, muffled, mute, obscure, reticent, silent, speechless, tongue-tied, unclear, unintelligible, unspoken, vague, voiceless
Examples from the Web for inarticulate
Don Draper is an inarticulate slob compared to Richard Dawson.A Kiss Goodbye to Richard Dawson
June 4, 2012
Joe Biden got in trouble for calling Barack Obama “articulate,” but inarticulate is fine, right?Gaffes Burst Cain's Bubble
October 21, 2011
Mere decades earlier, American Jews had watched, trembling and inarticulate, as European Jews were destroyed.Israel's Palestinian Arab Spring
May 16, 2011
At the simplest level, it shows that the character is inarticulate, which in film often indicates a troubled past.Mumbling Wins Oscars!
March 3, 2010
Ignorant and inarticulate as he was, he and his handlers knew how to create at least an ersatz aura of seriousness.Run, Sarah, Run!
July 23, 2009
Nevertheless, there was no anger in Dr. Ed's mind, only a vague and inarticulate regret.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
He did not speak, but he made an inarticulate noise between a grunt and a sniff.Quaint Courtships
His love partook of the nature of worship, dumb, inarticulate, a silent adoration.White Fang
There was silence as deep as before, after one short, inarticulate murmur.The First Violin
Then a strange, inarticulate cry was smothered in her throat.A Breath of Prairie and other stories
- 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
Word Origin and History for inarticulate
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- 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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.