in·cho·ate (ĭn-kōĭt, -āt′)
1. Being in a beginning or early stage; incipient: "The country was developing an incipient national art, an inchoate national literature" (Jay Winik).
2. Imperfectly formed or developed; disordered or incoherent: "A prophet must be a good public speaker, someone who can transform inchoate rage into eloquent diatribe" (David Leavitt).
[Latin inchoātus, past participle of inchoāre, to begin, alteration of incohāre : in-, in; see IN-2 + cohum, strap from yoke to harness.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.