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 formsin·ar·tic·u·late·ly, adverbin·ar·tic·u·late·ness, noun

Synonyms for inarticulate

2. mute, dumb. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inarticulately

Historical Examples of inarticulately

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for inarticulately



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 Formsinarticulately, 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

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

inarticulately in Medicine




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.
Related formsin′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.