inchoate — “in-kho-ate”: not yet finished, unformed, in progress. Keep in mind, there is never any reason to use this word. When academics say “inchoate idea” what they are trying to do is obfuscate the fact that they are trying out an idea, or don’t know what they are talking about, and are hoping to hide that fact from you by banking on the strong possibility you don’t know the meaning of the word. If they wanted you to understand, that’d just say “it’s a work in progress.”
My reading on this word is based on the fact that its etymology is equally unhelpful and obtuse:
ety., (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.