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undeveloped, rudimentary


inchoate = unvollständig; beginnend; rudimentär; unfertig; unausgereift; [noch] im Anfangsstadium befindlich



“The truth lies somewhere in the INCHOATE middle between 1 Apple Park Way and a monastery. I am not telling you to use your phone more. I am not telling you to use your phone less. I am telling you to use it with intention.”

Blake Montgomery — The Guardian (31st January 2024)

“Aside from ecoanxiety (an overwhelming disquiet about environmental crisis) … how we feel, a more ‘INCHOATE’ sense of exhaustion, is missing from a lot of climate texts.”

Maya Goodfellow — The Guardian (28th February 2024)

Did you


- not yet completed or fully developed; rudimentary; just begun; incipient

- only recently or partly formed, or not completely developed or clear

Merriam-Webster / Collins Dictionary


The word "inchoate" entered English in the 1530s and derives from the Latin word inchoatus, the past participle of the verb inchoare, meaning "to begin" or "to commence".

Inchoare means ”to hitch up" and is derived from the Latin prefix in- meaning "in" or "into" and the noun cohum, meaning "a strap or cord used to fasten oxen to a yoke or plow".

The concept of this initial step toward the larger task of plowing a field explains how inchoate came to describe something (such as a plan or idea) in its early, not fully formed, stages of development.


An inchoate offense is a type of crime that is committed by taking a punishable step towards the commission of another crime.

Main types of inchoate (incomplete) offenses:

- ATTEMPT = When someone takes significant steps towards committing a crime, but fails to complete it. For example, trying to break into a house with tools but getting caught before entering.

- SOLICITATION = When someone asks or encourages someone else to commit a crime. Even if the other person doesn't go through with it, the act of soliciting them is a crime. An example would be hiring someone to commit a burglary or a murder.

- CONSPIRACY = When two or more people agree or plan to commit a crime. The agreement itself is the criminal act, even if they don't actually carry out the planned crime. Plotting a bank robbery with accomplices would constitute conspiracy.

The key aspect of inchoate crimes is that the intended criminal act does not need to be completed for charges to be brought. The criminal intent coupled with concrete acts towards commission, like attempting break-ins, soliciting hitmen, or conspiring with co-conspirators, can be prosecuted as crimes themselves.

This allows law enforcement to intervene before planned crimes occur. While incomplete, inchoate offenses are still punished as serious crimes, though typically less severely than if the full intended crime was successfully carried out.

The main purpose is to disrupt criminal plots before they can be executed.


alpha stage, amorphous, barely formed, budding, early days (phase, stage), egg-stage, embryonic/fetal/green stage, formless, fumbling phase, germinal, half-baked state, half-formed, INCHOATE, immature, incipient, incomplete, nascent, raw state, rudimentary, shapeless, sketchy, undeveloped, unfledged, unformed, unfinished, unshaped

SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation, say something like:

"The idea of prosecuting INCHOATE crimes is similar to the haberdashery idiom 'a stitch in time saves nine'. By intervening early, we can prevent bigger problems down the road."

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