in·​cor·​po·​rate | \ in-ˈkȯr-pə-ˌrāt How to pronounce incorporate (audio) \
incorporated; incorporating

Definition of incorporate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to unite or work into something already existent so as to form an indistinguishable whole
b : to blend or combine thoroughly
2a : to form into a legal corporation
b : to admit to membership in a corporate body
3 : to give material form to : embody

intransitive verb

1 : to unite in or as one body
2 : to form or become a corporation


in·​cor·​po·​rate | \ in-ˈkȯr-p(ə-)rət How to pronounce incorporate (audio) \

Definition of incorporate (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from incorporate


incorporable \ in-​ˈkȯr-​p(ə-​)rə-​bəl How to pronounce incorporable (audio) \ adjective
incorporative \ in-​ˈkȯr-​pə-​ˌrā-​tiv How to pronounce incorporative (audio) , -​p(ə-​)rə-​tiv \ adjective
incorporator \ in-​ˈkȯr-​pə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce incorporator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for incorporate

Synonyms: Verb

absorb, assimilate, co-opt, embody, integrate

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Did You Know?

From its roots, incorporate means basically "add into a body" or "form into a body". So, for example, a chef might decide to incorporate a couple of new ingredients into an old recipe, and then might incorporate that new item into the restaurant's dinner menu. The restaurant itself was probably incorporated at the beginning, and so is now a corporation—that is, a "body" that's legally allowed to act like a single person in certain ways, even if it may have many individual employees. As you can see, the two meanings turn out to be fairly different.

Examples of incorporate in a Sentence


This design incorporates the best features of our earlier models. a diet that incorporates many different fruits and vegetables The company was incorporated in 1981. The company incorporated in 1981.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The former national swimmer still yearned to incorporate her passion for the water into a profession, but struggled to find the means to do so. Michelle Cohan, CNN, "Going the distance for a plastic-free ocean," 6 Sep. 2019 New offensive coordinator Greg Roman coached Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco and is expected to incorporate many of the same concepts in the offense. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "AFC Preview: Patriots still have Tom Brady, but conference could go through Chiefs or Chargers," 5 Sep. 2019 Taking this one step further, why wouldn’t Beyonce grow her brand to incorporate health and wellness? Brian Penick, Billboard, "Five Music Tech Investment Areas You Need to Know (Guest Column)," 5 Sep. 2019 Think beyond cheesecake, and feel free to incorporate other festive flavors or ingredients. Nancy Stohs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Journal Sentinel Holiday Cookie Contest announces sweet new categories for 2019," 4 Sep. 2019 Cardi’s take on the glitzy runway trend is the perfect way to incorporate a pop of color into your beauty looks this fall. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Cardi B Came Through Made In America Festival Dripping In A Jewel Ponytail," 3 Sep. 2019 The Sprüth Magers gallery asked him to incorporate his clothes in a show. Christina Binkley, The New Yorker, "Sterling Ruby’s Mixed Media," 2 Sep. 2019 Trump's concerns, White House staff members are looking for ways to incorporate the president's desire for more institutions into a long list of other measures aimed at reducing gun violence. CBS News, "Trump looks to mental institutions as solution to gun violence, despite experts' concerns," 30 Aug. 2019 Now, in response to Trump’s concerns, White House staff members are looking for ways to incorporate the president’s desire for more institutions into a long list of other measures aimed at reducing gun violence. Kevin Freking,, "Trump eyes mental institutions as answer to gun violence," 30 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Since 2013, Black Bottle Brewery in Colorado has made beer using Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms and Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, though none of those incorporate food waste. David Yaffe-bellany, New York Times, "Drink a Pint, Waste Less Food," 3 July 2019 Gibson’s works, which take inspiration from his Choctaw and Cherokee heritage as well as modernism and popular culture, incorporate materials such as rawhide, tipi poles, sterling silver, wool blankets, metal cones, beads, fringe and sinew. John Wenzel, The Know, "Denver Art Museum to host first major exhibition from American Indian artist Jeffrey Gibson," 16 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incorporate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of incorporate


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for incorporate


Middle English, from Late Latin incorporatus, past participle of incorporare, from Latin in- + corpor-, corpus body — more at midriff

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Statistics for incorporate

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incorporate

The first known use of incorporate was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for incorporate



Financial Definition of incorporation

What It Is

Incorporation means to form a corporation. A corporation is a legal form of business organization. It is sometimes referred to as a "C Corp" in reference to a section of the IRS code governing corporate taxes.

How It Works

Corporations have several distinguishing characteristics.

1. A corporation is owned by shareholders, and their ownership is represented by shares of stock.
2. A corporation has a board of directors, which is a group of people elected by the shareholders to oversee the corporation's managers and represent the best interests of the shareholders.
3. They have unlimited lives; that is, corporations don't "die" or "expire" unless they do so intentionally or go bankrupt and liquidate their assets.
4. The shareholders have limited liability. That is, the liabilities of the corporation do not extend to the shareholders. If the corporation goes bankrupt or defaults on a loan, the corporation's creditors almost always cannot repossess the shareholders' personal assets or seek repayment from the shareholders themselves.
5. Corporations pay income taxes on their taxable income, even if they distribute some of that income directly to the shareholders.
6. Corporations are legal entities that exist separate and apart from their shareholders. In fact, they are usually afforded the legal rights of people. That is, they can own assets, borrow money and sue or be sued.

Why It Matters

To incorporate means to form one of the dominant business structures in the United States, and this is often because the largest advantage to incorporating is the limited liability the structure brings to the company's owners. Incorporation's limited liability encourages investment and in turn makes it easier to raise equity capital, among other things. However, incorporating a business means agreeing to more governance and regulation than other business forms, and this makes them more expensive to operate.

One of the biggest complaints about incorporating is the double taxation of profits it brings: the corporation must pay income taxes on its taxable income, and shareholders also must pay income taxes on that same income if the corporation pays that income out as dividends.

Although some corporations are nonprofit entities, perhaps the most important, prominent and sometimes controversial duty of a corporation is to enhance shareholder value. This duty is most often executed through the maximization of profits.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of incorporate

: to include (something) as part of something else
business : to form into a corporation


in·​cor·​po·​rate | \ in-ˈkȯr-pə-ˌrāt How to pronounce incorporate (audio) \
incorporated; incorporating

Kids Definition of incorporate

1 : to include (something) as part of something else The plan incorporated all of our ideas.
2 : to form into a corporation

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transitive verb
in·​cor·​po·​rate | \ in-ˈkȯr-pə-ˌrāt How to pronounce incorporate (audio) \
incorporated; incorporating

Medical Definition of incorporate

: to subject to incorporation incorporated his psychiatrist in a system of delusions

Other Words from incorporate

incorporative \ -​ˈkȯr-​pə-​ˌrāt-​iv How to pronounce incorporative (audio) , -​p(ə-​)rət-​ How to pronounce incorporative (audio) \ adjective


in·​cor·​po·​rate | \ in-ˈkȯr-pə-ˌrāt How to pronounce incorporate (audio) \
incorporated; incorporating

Legal Definition of incorporate

transitive verb

1 : to unite with something else to form a whole incorporate the agreement into the divorce
2 : to form (as a business) into a legal corporation
3 : to include (rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights) within the guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment — see also selective incorporation, total incorporation

intransitive verb

: to form a legal corporation
incorporate by reference
: to make (the terms of a contemporaneous or earlier document) part of another document (as a codicil) by specific reference in that document — see also republish

Other Words from incorporate

incorporation \ in-​ˌkȯr-​pə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce incorporation (audio) \ noun

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Comments on incorporate

What made you want to look up incorporate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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