AskDefine | Define articulated

Dictionary Definition

articulated adj
1 consisting of segments held together by joints [syn: articulate] [ant: unarticulated]
2 pronounced distinctly and clearly; "her words were well articulated"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Simple past and past participle of to articulate.


  1. Constructed with one or more pivoted joints which allow bending of an otherwise rigid structure.
  2. Specifically, describes a vehicle with such joints, e.g. an articulated lorry, articulated bus, or certain kinds of streetcars and trains.


*German: Gelenk-*German: Gelenk-

Extensive Definition

An articulated vehicle is a vehicle which has a permanent or semi-permanent pivoting joint in its construction, allowing the vehicle to turn more sharply. There are many kinds of articulated vehicles, from heavy equipment to buses, trams and trains. Steam locomotives were sometimes articulated in that the driving wheels could pivot around turns.
In a broader sense, any vehicle towing a trailer could be described as articulated (the word articulated comes from the Latin articulus : small joint). In the UK, the term "articulated lorry" refers to the combination of a tractor and a semi-trailer, abbreviated to "artic". In the U.S., this is called a semi-trailer truck, "tractor-trailer" or "semi-truck" and would not necessarily be called articulated.

Type of vehicles


Buses are articulated to allow for a much longer bus which can still navigate within the turning radius of a normal bus.


In the UK, semi-trailers on tractor units are referred to as "articulated lorries."

Trains and rail

Many train cars are made with articulated connections, sharing a common truck between two cars. This reduces costs, weight, vibration and noise.
Trams and Light Rail Vehicles have been made with articulated designs since the 1950s. This was instead of using trailers or multiple units, which had been attempted in the early 1900s. The articulated design allows passengers (and fare inspectors) to move the entire length of the vehicle.

Heavy equipment

Front loaders, graders, dump trucks and other vehicles have been made with articulated joints to greatly reduce their turning radius. The most Common models of articulated trucks are Caterpillar, Volvo, and Terex trucks ranging in tonnage from 25 to 40 ton.chandrakant sargule

Military vehicles

Some military vehicles, like for instance the US military M561 Gama Goat, were engineered with an articulated body for maximum rough terrain capability.
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