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Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowing from Latin articulātus (distinct, articulated, jointed).


  • (UK) enPR: ärtĭ'kyələt, IPA(key): /ɑː(ɹ)ˈtɪk.jʊ.lət/
  • (US) enPR: ärtĭ'kyələt, IPA(key): /ɑːɹˈtɪk.jə.lət/
  • (file)
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articulate (comparative more articulate, superlative most articulate)

  1. clear, effective
  2. especially, speaking in a clear or effective manner
    She’s a bright, articulate young woman.
  3. able to bend or hinge at certain points or intervals
    The robot arm was articulate in two directions.
    articulate animals or plants
  4. Expressed in articles or in separate items or particulars.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)
  5. (obsolete, of sound) Related to human speech, as distinct from the vocalisation of animals.
    • 1728, James Knapton and John Knapton, Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, page 146:
      Brutes cannot form articulate Sounds, cannot articulate the Sounds of the Voice, excepting some few Birds, as the Parrot, Pye, &c.


articulate (plural articulates)

  1. (zoology) An animal of the subkingdom Articulata.

Etymology 2[edit]

From the adjective.


  • (UK) enPR: ärtĭ'kyəlāt, IPA(key): /ɑː(ɹ)ˈtɪk.jʊ.leɪt/
  • (US) enPR: ärtĭ'kyəlāt, IPA(key): /ɑːɹˈtɪk.jə.leɪt/
  • (file)
  • (file)


articulate (third-person singular simple present articulates, present participle articulating, simple past and past participle articulated)

  1. To make clear or effective.
  2. To speak clearly; to enunciate.
    I wish he’d articulate his words more clearly.
  3. To explain; to put into words; to make something specific.
    I like this painting, but I can’t articulate why.
  4. To bend or hinge something at intervals, or to allow or build something so that it can bend.
    an articulated bus
  5. (music) to attack a note, as by tonguing, slurring, bowing, etc.
    Articulate that passage heavily.
  6. (anatomy) to form a joint or connect by joints
    The lower jaw articulates with the skull at the temporomandibular joint.
  7. (obsolete) To treat or make terms.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

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  1. first-person plural present active imperative of articulō