articulate

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

Definition of articulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : expressing oneself readily, clearly, and effectively an articulate teacher also : expressed in such a manner an articulate argument
b : divided into syllables or words meaningfully arranged : intelligible an articulate cry/utterance
c : able to speak So furious was he that he was hardly articulate— Arthur Conan Doyle
2a : consisting of segments united by joints : jointed articulate animals
b : distinctly marked off an articulate period in history

articulate

verb
ar·​tic·​u·​late | \ är-ˈti-kyə-ˌlāt \
articulated; articulating

Definition of articulate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

1 : to utter clear and understandable sounds
2 : to become united or connected by or as if by a joint Most bones articulate with other bones in one or more places.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from articulate

Adjective

articulately adverb
articulateness noun

Verb

articulative \ -​lə-​tiv , -​ˌlā-​ \ adjective
articulator \ -​ˌlā-​tər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for articulate

Synonyms: Adjective

eloquent, fluent, silver-tongued, well-spoken

Synonyms: Verb

enunciate

Antonyms: Adjective

inarticulate, ineloquent, unvocal

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of articulate in a Sentence

Adjective

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 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 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 She's an intelligent and articulate speaker. He was very articulate about his feelings on the subject. The baby is beginning to form articulate words and phrases.

Verb

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 "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 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 He had some trouble articulating his thoughts. We disagree with the views articulated by the administration. a theory first articulated by ancient philosophers the bones that articulate with the clavicle
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The choral singing moved from crisp and articulate to lush and lyrical where required. Jessica Rudman, courant.com, "HSO Wraps Up Masterworks Season With Impressive Collaboratin," 9 June 2018 Modern witchiness reveals itself through fashion in clothes that articulate joy and express a healthy relationship with mortality while also being difficult for the male gaze. Harper's BAZAAR, "The Modern Woman Is Embracing Her Inner Witch," 12 Nov. 2018 Ehnes, who also is the festival’s artistic director, introduced the premiere and two other Howard works in the first half in a manner as articulate and adroit as any television commentator. Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times, "Seattle Chamber Music Society debuts an ear-boggling piece by a ‘Dark Knight’ composer," 17 July 2018 No matter the gain level, the notes remain articulate and defined, even when playing chords. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "The New Fender Strat Still Reigns Supreme," 27 Apr. 2017 Request a meeting with administration and ask your most influential and articulate group member to serve as spokesperson. Marie G. Mcintyre, The Seattle Times, "Struggling in the chaotic, stressful health-care workplace," 21 Nov. 2018 Dana Perino, that was such an articulate and thoughtful analysis of the deep state. Fox News, "Kavanaugh accused: Where does the burden of proof lie?," 19 Sep. 2018 The strings were as effervescent and articulate as can be, but the stars in No. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Orchestra keeps the flame burning as 'The Prometheus Project' continues (review)," 14 May 2018 Vital, among the most engaging and articulate UConn basketball players, always has a lot to say, both in conversation and body language. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Christian Vital's Fire Can Fuel Or Burn UConn," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The administration has not articulated a strategy similar to China’s, and experts have warned that the tariffs — and the retaliatory tariffs China has threatened to impose — will end up hurting America’s own growth industries. New York Times, "Trump Picks Economic Winners, Guided by Nostalgia," 18 June 2018 And by the way, the notion that nobody can be judging his own case ignores the proposition that the Supreme Court has articulated in several cases dealing with pardon. Fox News, "Sen. Toomey on move to curb Trump's trade authority," 10 June 2018 Modern life has rarely been articulated with such compression and epigrammatic precision. Dustin Illingworth, latimes.com, "Elusive leaps of grace and daring: Rachel Cusk's 'Kudos'," 31 May 2018 Moreover, the University has never articulated a plausible legal basis for denying Dr. Hasselbacher access to those records. Justin Sayers, The Courier-Journal, "Judge: Louisville made 'deliberate attempt' to withhold scandal records," 24 May 2018 As that firm now changes its approach to the public, that man hasn’t articulated why. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "Mark Zuckerberg Says He’s Not Resigning," 9 Apr. 2018 In my opinion, the left must articulate and sell a progressive vision of the Constitution, in much the same way the conservatives began doing 35 years ago when Ronald Reagan was in office. Sean Illing, Vox, "Why the Constitution is an inherently progressive document," 18 Dec. 2018 Five decades ago feminists like Gloria Steinem articulated a new vision of what womanhood in America could look like. Esther Perel, Glamour, "One Crazy Idea to Empower Women? Focus on Men," 12 Dec. 2018 That’s a message Pelosi herself has articulated in recent weeks. Steve Peoples, The Seattle Times, "Bloomberg likely to decide on 2020 bid by early next year," 14 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'articulate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of articulate

Adjective

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Verb

1661, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for articulate

Adjective and Verb

Latin articulatus jointed, past participle of articulare, from articulus — see article entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about articulate

Share articulate

Statistics for articulate

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for articulate

The first known use of articulate was in 1531

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for articulate

articulate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of articulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: able to express ideas clearly and effectively in speech or writing
: clearly expressed and easily understood

articulate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of articulate (Entry 2 of 2)

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

articulate

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

Kids Definition of articulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : clearly understandable an articulate essay
2 : able to express oneself clearly and well an articulate speaker

Other Words from articulate

articulately adverb

articulate

verb
ar·​tic·​u·​late | \ är-ˈti-kyə-ˌlāt \
articulated; articulating

Kids Definition of articulate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to speak or pronounce clearly Be sure to articulate your words.

articulate

adjective
ar·​tic·​u·​late | \ är-ˈtik-yə-lət \

Medical Definition of articulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: consisting of segments united by joints : jointed articulate animals

articulate

verb
ar·​tic·​u·​late | \ -ˌlāt \
articulated; articulating

Medical Definition of articulate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to utter distinctly
2 : to unite by means of a joint
3 : to arrange (artificial teeth) on an articulator

intransitive verb

1 : to utter articulate sounds
2 : to become united or connected by or as if by a joint bones that articulate with each other

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on articulate

What made you want to look up articulate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!