Definition of inarticulate in English:


Syllabification: in·ar·tic·u·late
Pronunciation: /ˌinärˈtikyəlit


  • 1Unable to speak distinctly or express oneself clearly: he was inarticulate with abashment and regret
    More example sentences
    • He becomes completely inarticulate and unable to close the deal, as it were, because he loves her too much!
    • It's the one where he played a dumb sullen inarticulate Brooklyn paint-store clerk.
    • He was verbally inarticulate and could not enunciate a clear concept or formulate ideas.
    tongue-tied, lost for words, unable to express oneself
  • 1.1Not clearly expressed or pronounced: inarticulate complaints of inadequate remuneration
    More example sentences
    • He's a little dumbfounded at reviews of the film that criticize the repetitiveness of some dialogue or inarticulate speech, two of the aspects that make the film feel true.
    • Paradoxically, his inarticulate speech and inchoate thinking vividly express his frustration and anger: he has no skills with which to cope effectively with the inevitable set-backs of his life.
    • I would think long and hard before assuming that inarticulate speech and a gift for malapropism are indicators of stupidity.
    unintelligible, incomprehensible, incoherent, unclear, indistinct, mumbled, muffled
  • 1.2Not expressed; unspoken: mention of her mother filled her with inarticulate irritation
    More example sentences
    • Because so many of the encounters are inarticulate, ideas aren't developed as fluently as in the two earlier films.
    • At that moment he felt toward Mary and Jan a dumb, cold, and inarticulate hate.
    • Her comment struck me as the most penetrating I have heard in relation to this much-discussed film, which has incited a level of critical hostility, in some cases bordering on inarticulate rage, rarely seen in the mass media these days.
    unspoken, silent, unexpressed, wordless, speechless, unvoiced
  • 2Without joints or articulations.
  • 2.1 Zoology Denoting a brachiopod in which the valves of the shell have no hinge and are held together by muscles.
    More example sentences
    • The Discinids are a small long-lived group of inarticulate brachiopods with chitinophosphatic shells.
    • The Brachiopoda for example, was present, but greatest diversity was shown by inarticulate brachiopods (like the one in the upper middle, from the Upper Cambrian of Iowa).
    • Quasimodaspis, along with the inarticulate brachiopods that are the only other fossils so far recovered from this locality, was probably transported from a shallower facies.



More example sentences
  • What was important to us was to make a film that was about a kind of inarticulacy of experience, which was about how difficult it is to develop, whatever age you are - whether you're 17 or whether you're 40.
  • Yet for me, for whatever reason - maybe it was my small rebellion - it was inarticulacy that moved me.
  • His dewy-eyed, slightly fumbling sincerity - his brilliantly articulate impersonation of earnest inarticulacy - has all along been tied to this self-projection as a Good Man.


More example sentences
  • They express, however inarticulately, an understanding of what life might be about, outside the constraints of work and the struggle for survival.
  • I stood and rather inarticulately said my piece.
  • I'm not trying to have an argument either - that's what the ‘I don't care’ was inarticulately trying to express.


More example sentences
  • The same inarticulateness and lack of differentiation described below makes it difficult to come up with much germane to the major event of the day, but when words seem like a luxury, there's always film.
  • But inarticulateness can be a serious liability when nuanced explanations from the Commander-in-Chief are required.
  • So when I found out that he was on the panel, I was reduced to a bundle of inarticulateness.


early 17th century: from in-1 'not' + the adjective articulate; the sense 'not clearly pronounced' corresponds to that of late Latin inarticulatus.

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a slit made by cutting with a saw