SKIP TO CONTENT

inarticulate

Use the adjective inarticulate to describe poor communication skills, like at your most inarticulate moments when you nervously fumble to find the right word and completely forget to make your most important point.

Inarticulate sounds — a grunt, cry, scream, snort, wail, howl, moan, sob, snicker — are heard but not easily understood. If something is inarticulate, it is hard to get the meaning, like an inarticulate speech whose main idea can't be found. Creative works can also be inarticulate, when it isn't clear what — if anything — they are trying to express, like a painter whose gallery show that is called "inarticulate" by a critic: You can't grasp what the artist is trying to say.

Definitions of inarticulate
  1. adjective
    without or deprived of the use of speech or words
    inarticulate beasts”
    “remained stupidly inarticulate and saying something noncommittal”
    inarticulate with rage”
    “an inarticulate cry”
    synonyms: unarticulate
    aphasic
    unable to speak because of a brain lesion
    aphonic, voiceless
    being without sound through injury or illness and thus incapable of all but whispered speech
    dumb, mute, silent
    unable to speak because of hereditary deafness
    dumb
    lacking the power of human speech
    incoherent, tongue-tied
    unable to express yourself clearly or fluently
    mute, tongueless, unspoken, wordless
    expressed without speech
    dumb, speechless
    temporarily incapable of speaking
    unarticulated
    uttered without the use of normal words or syllables
    incommunicative, uncommunicative
    not inclined to talk or give information or express opinions
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    articulate
    expressing yourself easily or characterized by clear expressive language
    eloquent, facile, fluent, silver, silver-tongued, smooth-spoken
    expressing yourself readily, clearly, effectively
    speech-endowed
    capable of speech
    well-spoken
    speaking or spoken fittingly or pleasingly
    communicative, communicatory
    able or tending to communicate
    spoken
    uttered through the medium of speech or characterized by speech; sometimes used in combination
    show more antonyms...
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week