inchoate

Inchoate means just beginning to form. You can have an inchoate idea, like the earliest flickers of images for your masterpiece, or an inchoate feeling, like your inchoate sense of annoyance toward your sister's new talking parrot.

Inchoate comes from a Latin word for beginning. When something is inchoate, although you don’t yet understand what it is fully, you have a strong sense that it is indeed coming. It’s stronger than the wisp of an idea that never turns into anything. But it’s hard to really find the language to describe an inchoate idea. That’s the whole point: you don’t have the words for it yet!

Definitions of inchoate
  1. adjective
    only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
    “a vague inchoate idea”
    synonyms: incipient
    early
    being or occurring at an early stage of development
Commonly confused words

Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia Creator Carrie Brownstein Lets Her Vocab Flag Fly

While discussing her memoir "Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl" on NPR's Fresh Air, Sleater-Kinney co-founder Carrie Brownstein used the word inchoate to describe her younger self.

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