- just begun and so not fully formed or developed; rudimentary; being only partly in existence or operation; especially : imperfectly formed or formulated:
“a still inchoate democracy”
misty, inchoate suspicions that all is not well with the nation — J. M. Perry
“inchoate feelings of affection for a man whom she had, up till now, thought of as only a friend”
rudimentary · undeveloped · unformed · immature · incipient · embryonic · beginning · fledgling · developing; aborning, budding, inceptive, nascent
adult, full-blown, full-fledged, mature, ripe, ripened [near antonyms] advanced, developed, evolved, high, higher, improved, refined
Inchoate derives from inchoare, which means “to start work on” in Latin but translates literally as “to hitch up.” Inchoare was formed from the prefix in- and the noun cohum, which refers to the part of a yoke to which the beam of a plow is fitted. The concept of implementing this initial step toward the larger task of plowing a field can help provide a clearer understanding of inchoate, an adjective used to describe the imperfect form of something (such as a plan or idea) in its early stages of development. Perhaps because it looks a little like the word chaos (although the two aren’t closely related), inchoate now not only implies the formlessness that often marks beginnings but also the confusion caused by chaos.
- (of an offense, such as incitement or conspiracy) anticipating a further criminal act; not yet made complete, certain, or specific : not perfected; not yet transformed into actual use or possession; of or relating to a crime (as attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy) which consists of acts that are preliminary to another crime and that are in themselves criminal.
mid 16th cent.: from Latin inchoatus, past participle of inchoare, variant of incohare ‘begin.’
Latin inchoatus, past participle of inchoare to start work on, perhaps from in- + cohum part of a yoke to which the beam of a plow is fitted
First Known Use: 1534