9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-ahr-tik-yuh-lit] /ˌɪn ɑrˈtɪk yə lɪt/
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
1595-1605; < Late Latin inarticulātus. See in-3, articulate
Related forms
inarticulately, adverb
inarticulateness, noun
2. mute, dumb. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for inarticulate
  • Even then, employers say that many graduates emerge inarticulate, unable to think critically and barely able to read or write.
  • Bush is inarticulate, makes bad decisions, and is a product of his family and connections.
  • The old colonial empires have disintegrated, and a new spirit of nationalism pervades lands that were once inarticulate.
  • Some writers appear to believe that emotions gain in intensity through being inarticulate.
  • Archer sprang to his feet and stood looking down on her in inarticulate despair.
  • She broke continually into shouts of a wild, inarticulate, and sometimes piercing music.
  • He used to nod many times to her and smile when she came in, and utter inarticulate deprecatory moans when she was going away.
  • But since he was denied speech, he scorned the inarticulate mouthings of the lower animals.
  • Bringing mental activity into the realm of language, making articulate the inarticulate, is part of the activity of introspection.
  • He's also capable of making articulate a character who remains inarticulate except in his music.
British Dictionary definitions for inarticulate


unable to express oneself fluently or clearly; incoherent
(of speech, language, etc) unclear or incomprehensible; unintelligible: inarticulate grunts
unable to speak; dumb
unable to be expressed; unvoiced: inarticulate suffering
(biology) having no joints, segments, or articulation
Derived Forms
inarticulately, adverb
inarticulateness, 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
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Word Origin and History for inarticulate

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
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inarticulate in Medicine

inarticulate in·ar·tic·u·late (ĭn'är-tĭk'yə-lĭt)

  1. Uttered without the use of normal words or syllables; incomprehensible as speech or language.

  2. Unable to speak; speechless.

  3. Unable to speak with clarity or eloquence.

  4. Not having joints or segments.

in'ar·tic'u·late·ness or in'ar·tic'u·la·cy (-lə-sē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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