articulate

1 of 2

adjective

ar·​tic·​u·​late är-ˈti-kyə-lət How to pronounce articulate (audio)
1
a
: 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 articulateArthur Conan Doyle
2
a
: consisting of segments united by joints : jointed
articulate animals
b
: distinctly marked off
an articulate period in history
articulately adverb
articulateness noun

articulate

2 of 2

verb

ar·​tic·​u·​late är-ˈti-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce articulate (audio)
articulated; articulating

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
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

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.
articulative adjective
articulator noun

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
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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Sources familiar with Trump’s thinking say the former President was impressed with his recent television appearances, emphasizing his articulate charisma and ability to think on his feet. Eric Cortellessa, TIME, 15 July 2024 He's been one of Trump's top Senate allies, lauded as an articulate voice for populist conservatives. Juliegrace Brufke, Axios, 9 July 2024
Verb
Symmetry and balance in the living room are articulated through the moldings and trim work Josh and Kevin designed—and Josh installed himself. Jessica Ritz, Architectural Digest, 17 July 2024 The immunity decision most clearly articulated the court’s willingness to empower Trump, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. (who wrote the decision) bolstering the right’s argument that the novelty in the moment was Trump’s being charged, not his doing things that warranted indictment. Philip Bump, Washington Post, 15 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for articulate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'articulate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

borrowed from Late Latin articulātus "uttered distinctly, expressed clearly" (as translation of Greek énarthros), past participle of articulāre "to make distinct sounds," going back to Latin, "to divide into distinct parts," derivative of articulus "joint, part of a limb or digit between joints, point of time, clause of a document" — more at article entry 1

Verb

borrowed from Late Latin articulātus, past participle of articulāre "to make distinct sounds," going back to Latin, "to divide into distinct parts" — more at articulate entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Verb

1661, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of articulate was in 1531

Dictionary Entries Near articulate

Cite this Entry

“Articulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/articulate. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

articulate

1 of 2 adjective
ar·​tic·​u·​late är-ˈtik-yə-lət How to pronounce articulate (audio)
1
a
: clearly understandable
an articulate argument
b
: able to express oneself clearly and well
an articulate speaker
2
: consisting of segments united by joints : jointed
articulate animals
articulately adverb
articulateness noun

articulate

2 of 2 verb
ar·​tic·​u·​late är-ˈtik-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce articulate (audio)
articulated; articulating
1
a
: to speak in clear syllables or words
b
: to express clearly
2
: to unite or become united or connected by or as if by a joint
articulator noun

Medical Definition

articulate

1 of 2 adjective
ar·​tic·​u·​late är-ˈtik-yə-lət How to pronounce articulate (audio)
: consisting of segments united by joints : jointed
articulate animals

articulate

2 of 2 verb
ar·​tic·​u·​late -ˌlāt How to pronounce articulate (audio)
articulated; articulating

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

More from Merriam-Webster on articulate

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