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Etymology 1[edit]

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



articulate (comparative more articulate, superlative most articulate)

  1. Clear; effective.
  2. Speaking in a clear and effective manner.
    She’s a bright, articulate young woman.
  3. Consisting of segments united by joints.
    The robot arm was articulate in two directions.
    jointed articulate animals
  4. Distinctly marked off.
    an articulate period in history
  5. (obsolete) Expressed in articles or in separate items or particulars.
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “II. Century.”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], →OCLC:
      articulate sounds
  6. (obsolete, of sound) Related to human speech, as distinct from the vocalisation of animals.
    • 1728, James Knapton, 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.
    • 1977, Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History):
      They considered articulates to be pre-adapted for an eleutherozoic existence because they possess muscular arms which are potentially of value in crawling and swimming, as in comatulids.

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. (transitive) To make clear or effective.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To speak clearly; to enunciate.
    I wish he’d articulate his words more clearly.
  3. (transitive) To explain; to put into words; to make something specific.
    I like this painting, but I can’t articulate why.
  4. (transitive) To bend or hinge something at intervals, or to allow or build something so that it can bend.
    an articulated bus
  5. (music, transitive) to attack a note, as by tonguing, slurring, bowing, etc.
    Articulate that passage heavily.
  6. (anatomy, intransitive) 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.
    • c. 1605–1608, William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, act 1, scene 9, lines 75–77:
      Send us to Rome / The best, with whom we may articulate / For their own good and ours.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of articulō


  • articulate”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • articulate in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of articular combined with te