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adjective ar·tic·u·late \är-ˈti-kyə-lət\

Simple Definition of articulate

  • : able to express ideas clearly and effectively in speech or writing

  • : clearly expressed and easily understood

Full Definition of articulate

  1. 1 a :  divided into syllables or words meaningfully arranged :  intelligible b :  able to speak c :  expressing oneself readily, clearly, or effectively <an articulate teacher>; also :  expressed readily, clearly, or effectively <an articulate argument>

  2. 2 a :  consisting of segments united by joints :  jointed <articulate animals> b :  distinctly marked off

ar·tic·u·late·ly adverb
ar·tic·u·late·ness noun

Examples of articulate

  1. But he clearly adored his quick-witted and mercilessly articulate elder daughter. Contrary to feminist accounts of her patriarchal imprisonment, Emily Dickinson's objections to her father's strictures had an affectionate tone … —Christopher Benfey, New York Review of Books, 17 Jan. 2002

  2. The engaging and articulate Bol makes campers realize how fortunate they are to have the freedoms enjoyed in America, and he emphasizes the importance of capitalizing on their opportunities to get the most out of life. —Chris Broussard, New York Times, 4 Aug. 2002

  3. Among the most articulate critics of the tests are the boycotting students, who complain about narrowing opportunities and shrinking curricula. —Peter Schrag, Atlantic, August 2000

  4. She's an intelligent and articulate speaker.

  5. He was very articulate about his feelings on the subject.

  6. The baby is beginning to form articulate words and phrases.

Origin of articulate

Latin articulatus jointed, past participle of articulare, from articulus (see 1article)

First Known Use: 1586

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms



verb ar·tic·u·late \är-ˈti-kyə-ˌlāt\

Simple Definition of articulate

  • : to express (something, such as an idea) in words

  • : to say or pronounce (something, such as a word) in a way that can be clearly heard and understood

  • : to connect with a joint or something that is like a joint

Full Definition of articulate


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to give clear and effective utterance to :  put into words <articulate one's grievances> b :  to utter distinctly <articulating each note in the musical phrase> c :  to give definition to (as a shape or object) <shades of gray were chosen to articulate different spaces — Carol Vogel> d :  to give shape or expression to (as a theme or concept) <a drama that uses eerie props to articulate a sense of foreboding>

  3. 2 a :  to unite by or as if by means of a joint :  joint b :  to form or fit into a systematic whole <articulating a program for all school grades>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to utter clear and understandable sounds

  6. 2 :  to become united or connected by or as if by a joint

ar·tic·u·la·tive play \-lə-tiv, -ˌlā-\ adjective
ar·tic·u·la·tor play \-ˌlā-tər\ noun

Examples of articulate

  1. She was shocked, she told me, to see that he insisted on talking about her ideas—and about the pains and hopes that gave rise to them. “The only way to keep it is to give it away,” he told her, articulating and enacting the essence of altruism. —Joshua Wolf Shenk, Atlantic, June 2009

  2. “Fiction just doesn't interest me,” one 41-year-old construction worker told CNN. “If I'm going to get a story, I'll get a movie,” he said, articulating an attitude surely shared by many others in our media-saturated world. —Sara Nelson, Publishers Weekly, 27 Aug. 2007

  3. Erudite, elderly, and introspective, one of my patients articulates clearly some of today's dilemmas facing both alcoholic patients and their physicians. —Thomas L. Delbanco, Journal of the American Medical Association, 13 Mar. 1996

  4. He had some trouble articulating his thoughts.

  5. We disagree with the views articulated by the administration.

  6. a theory first articulated by ancient philosophers

  7. the bones that articulate with the clavicle

Origin of articulate

(see 1articulate)

First Known Use: 1551

Rhymes with articulate

abbreviate, abominate, accelerate, accentuate, accommodate, acculturate, accumulate, adjudicate, adulterate, affiliate, agglomerate, alienate, alleviate, alliterate, amalgamate, ameliorate, amyl nitrate, annihilate, annunciate, anticipate, apostolate, appreciate, appropriate, approximate, arpeggiate, asphyxiate, assassinate, asseverate, assimilate, associate, at any rate, attenuate, authenticate, barbiturate, bicarbonate, calumniate, capacitate, capitulate, catholicate, certificate, coagulate, coelenterate, collaborate, commemorate, commiserate, communicate, compassionate, concatenate, conciliate, confabulate, confederate, conglomerate, congratulate, consolidate, contaminate, cooperate, coordinate, corroborate, deactivate, debilitate, decapitate, decelerate, decerebrate, deconcentrate, deconsecrate, decorticate, decrepitate, de-escalate, defibrinate, defoliate, degenerate, deliberate, delineate, demodulate, denominate, depopulate, depreciate, deracinate, deregulate, desegregate, desiderate, detoxicate, devaluate, diaconate, dilapidate, discriminate, disintegrate, disseminate, dissimulate, dissociate, domesticate, effectuate, ejaculate, elaborate, electroplate, eliminate, elucidate, emaciate, emancipate, emasculate, encapsulate, enumerate, enunciate, episcopate, equivocate, eradicate, etiolate, evacuate, evaluate, evaporate, eventuate, eviscerate, exacerbate, exaggerate, exasperate, excited state, excogitate, excoriate, exfoliate, exhilarate, exonerate, expatiate, expatriate, expectorate, expostulate, expropriate, extenuate, exterminate, extrapolate, facilitate, felicitate, fish or cut bait, garrison state, gesticulate, habilitate, habituate, hallucinate, humiliate, hydrogenate, hypothecate, illuminate, impersonate, inactivate, inaugurate, incarcerate, incinerate, incorporate, incriminate, indoctrinate, inebriate, infatuate, infuriate, ingratiate, ingurgitate, initiate, inoculate, inseminate, insinuate, instantiate, intercalate, interpolate, interrelate, interrogate, intimidate, intoxicate, invalidate, investigate, invigorate, irradiate, Italianate, Korea Strait, lanceolate, legitimate, luxuriate, mandarinate, manipulate, matriarchate, matriculate, Merthiolate, necessitate, negotiate, noncandidate, obliterate, officiate, Orange Free State, orientate, originate, oxygenate, participate, particulate, patriarchate, patriciate, perambulate, peregrinate, perpetuate, pontificate, precipitate, predestinate, predominate, prefabricate, premeditate, preponderate, prevaricate, procrastinate, prognosticate, proliferate, propitiate, proportionate, quadruplicate, quintuplicate, reciprocate, recriminate, recuperate, redecorate, reduplicate, reeducate, refrigerate, regenerate, regurgitate, reincarnate, reintegrate, reiterate, rejuvenate, remunerate, repatriate, repudiate, resuscitate, retaliate, reticulate, revaluate, reverberate, scholasticate, second estate, self-flagellate, self-immolate, self-pollinate, seventy-eight, sextuplicate, Singapore Strait, sophisticate, subordinate, substantiate, syllabicate, tergiversate, transliterate, triangulate, vanity plate, variegate, vaticinate, vituperate, vociferate

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February 14, 2016

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