Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[in-koh-it, -eyt or, esp. British, in-koh-eyt] /ɪnˈkoʊ ɪt, -eɪt or, esp. British, ˈɪn koʊˌeɪt/
not yet completed or fully developed; rudimentary.
just begun; incipient.
not organized; lacking order:
an inchoate mass of ideas on the subject.
Origin of inchoate
1525-35; < Latin inchoātus, variant of incohātus past participle of incohāre to begin, start work on, perhaps equivalent to in- -in-2 + coh(um) hollow of a yoke into which the pole is fitted + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
inchoately, adverb
inchoateness, noun
Can be confused
inchoate, innate (see synonym study at innate) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for inchoately
Historical Examples
  • What is revealed as the ideal in man may be inchoately manifested as instinct in the undeveloped consciousness of the animal.

    Evolution Frank B. Jevons
  • All knowledge was in the non-scientific form, or only fragmentarily and inchoately adjusted.

    Theoretical Ethics Milton Valentine
  • Wintour, the free-born gentleman, and Thomas Winter, the inchoately attainted traitor.

British Dictionary definitions for inchoately


adjective (ɪnˈkəʊeɪt; -ˈkəʊɪt)
just beginning; incipient
undeveloped; immature; rudimentary
(of a legal document, promissory note, etc) in an uncompleted state; not yet made specific or valid
verb (transitive) (ɪnˈkəʊeɪt)
to begin
Derived Forms
inchoately, adverb
inchoateness, noun
inchoation, noun
inchoative (ɪnˈkəʊətɪv) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin incohāre to make a beginning, literally: to hitch up, from in-² + cohum yokestrap
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for inchoately



1530s, from Latin inchoatus, past participle of inchoare, alteration of incohare "to begin," originally "to hitch up," from in- "on" (see in- (2)) + cohum "strap fastened to the oxen's yoke." Related: Inchoative.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for inchoate

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for inchoately

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for inchoately