Articulate Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Do you know what the word articulate means? This article explores the term articulate to uncover its definition, origin, and more

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Suppose you struggle with speeches or presenting your ideas in a clear and understandable way. In that case, you may want to brush up on your articulation skills — especially if you have an interview coming up with a potential employer. Why? 

Because those who speak in a strong and concise manner are often associated with being more intelligent and more capable. In other words, if you can adequately articulate your thoughts, you may increase your chance of landing the job. Articulating your answers will help you convince the interviewer you have the knowledge and expertise they’re looking for in the position.

That said, what does the word articulate mean, and where did it come from? In short, it means to say each letter in a word. For example, in the word “articulate,” you need your lips, teeth, and tongue to get each of the letters out of your mouth. We’ll tell you more. Read on as we explore articulate to uncover its definition, origin, synonyms, antonyms, and more. Are you ready?

Let’s dive all in!

What Is the Definition of Articulate?

/ɑːrˈtɪk.jə.lət/ /ɑːˈtɪk.jə.lət/ /ɑːrˈtɪk.jə.leɪt/ /ɑːˈtɪk.jə.leɪt/

The word of the day, articulate, can be used as either an adjective or a verb. As stated in Cambridge Dictionary, articulate, when pronounced ar-TIC-yuh-lit, is used as an adjective meaning well-spoken. 

Your Dictionary also tells us that when articulate is used as a verb, it is pronounced ar-TIC-yuh-late, meaning to express yourself or speak clearly.

So, what does the word articulate mean, you ask?

Simply put, articulate is defined as expressing yourself easily or characterized by clear, expressive language — it’s the ability to convert your thoughts and emotions into words. It’s getting the words out clearly so they are understandable.    

What Is the Etymology of Articulate?

Believe it or not, articulate was first recorded between 1530 and 1540, forming from Latin articulātus, the past participle of articulāre (meaning; divide into distinct parts), also a derivative of the noun articulus.

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Articulate?

By now, you know that the word articulate can be defined as clearly expressed and easily understood, but do you know our word of the day’s synonyms and antonyms?

A synonym is a word that has the same or almost the same meaning as another word. It’s a way to define the word without using the actual word. The synonyms of articulate include:

  • Enunciate
  • Eloquent
  • Smooth tongued
  • Fluent
  • Expressive
  • Vocal
  • Sound out
  • Give voice
  • Utter 
  • Genius
  • Well thought out
  • Clearly expressed 
  • Vocalize
  • Formulate
  • Phrase
  • Well reasoned 
  • Declare 
  • Smooth spoken
  • Silver-tongued 
  • Illuminating
  • Cogent
  • Well-expressed
  • Vivid 
  • Expressive language 
  • Power of speech

On the flip side, an antonym is a word that has a contrasting meaning. Antonyms of articulate include: 

  • Inarticulate
  • Unintelligible
  • Unprepared
  • Vague 
  • Perplexing
  • Puzzling
  • Unreadable
  • Undecipherable
  • Ambiguous 
  • Not understandable
  • Speechless
  • Poorly spoken
  • Tongue-tied 
  • Muddled
  • Inconclusive
  • Dishonest
  • Retiring 

How Can You Use Articulate in a Sentence?

Now that you understand what our word of the day means, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. The best way to ensure you know the definition is to use it! Quiz yourself to see how many sentences you can conjure up using the term articulate. To get you going, feel free to check out our example sentences listed below:

“Beth was very articulate with her presentation, which is exactly why she got an A+.”

“When I was a kid, I had to go to speech therapy to learn how to articulate.”

“Sammy was a highly articulate man.”

“If you’re looking for a list of synonyms for the word articulate, you may want to open up a thesaurus.”

“We had a very articulate speaker explain the science equation in class today.”

“Tommy isn’t able to form articulate sounds due to his brain injury.”

“To articulate is simply to express yourself clearly.”

“Did you know that the word articulately is the adverb of articulate?”

“The president of the country club is known for his ability to articulate his thoughts in front of hundreds of people.”

“Due to a stroke, my grandpa isn’t able to articulate his needs very well, but he’s going to start working with a speech therapist next week, so that should help.”

“Despite hating each other, the opponents were able to think about and articulate arguments coherently without lashing out.”

“If you want to learn how to articulate, you may want to consider taking a communication class with a teacher that specializes in speech.”

“People who overuse filler words like um and uh tend to sound less articulate.”

What Are Translations of Articulate?

Did you know that there are several ways that you can say our word of the day? Here are some of the most common translations of articulate:

Translations (adjective):

  • Chinese — 善表达的
  • European Spanish — que se expresa bien 
  • French — qui s’exprime bien
  • British English — articulate
  • Korean — 분명한
  • Italian — che si esprime bene 
  • Japanese — 優れた表現力のある
  • American English — articulate
  • Brazilian Portuguese — articulado
  • European Portuguese — articulado 
  • Spanish — que se expresa bien 
  • Thai — ที่มีทัศนะกระจ่างชัด
  • German — redegewandt

Translations (verb):

  • Brazilian Portuguese — articular 
  • Chinese — 表达
  • European Spanish — expresar 
  • French — articuler 
  • Korean — 말로 표현하다
  • American English — articulate 
  • Brazilian Portuguese — articular
  • European Portuguese — articular 
  • Spanish — expresar 
  • Italian — esprimere efficacemente 
  • Japanese — はっきり表現できる
  • Thai — พูดเสียงดังชัดเจน, กล่าวอย่างชัดเจน
  • German — darlegen
  • British English — articulate

Benefits of Being More Artiulate 

  • It helps express thoughts more clearly
  • Avoids miscommunication
  • Helps others understand our thoughts 
  • Gives us confidence to speak up


To sum it all up, articulate, by definition, means to speak clearly, to enunciate in distinct syllables. Articulate can also be used as a verb or an adjective; the difference between the two is mainly in the pronunciation. 

Interested in learning another new word? Head on over to our website and check out our blog. We have a vast library of guides, articles, and posts to help you discover complex words and enhance your existing vocabulary.


  1. Articulate Synonyms | Collins English Thesaurus 
  2. ARTICULATE | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary 
  3. Best 46 Definitions of Articulate | Your Dictionary