1. Uttered without the use of normal words or syllables; incomprehensible as speech or language: "a cry ... that ... sank down into an inarticulate whine" (Jack London).
2. Unable to speak; speechless: inarticulate with astonishment.
3. Unable to speak with clarity or eloquence: an inarticulate debater.
4. Going unexpressed: inarticulate sorrow.
5. Biology Not having joints or segments.
in′ar·ticu·late·ness, in′ar·ticu·la·cy (-lə-sē) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.