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

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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

Verb 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 songs incorporated styles not usually associated with his career, such as funk, soul, jazz and even disco. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Legendary singer Johnny Mathis brings ‘a little of this and a little of that’ to San Diego," 16 Sep. 2019 When thinking about incorporating suiting into your wardrobe, look for inspiration among the street style set who deconstructed these staples of Wall Street and made them into something worthy of a double-take. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "5 Ways To Wear Alternative Suiting Like the Street Style Crew at New York Fashion Week," 13 Sep. 2019 The developer, which incorporated with the state four months earlier, went by the name Sharka LLC. Elizabeth Dwoskin,, "Google reaped millions of tax breaks as it secretly expanded its real estate footprint across the US," 13 Sep. 2019 Back in San Antonio, Brad Parscale became a website developer, incorporating in October 2005 what became Parscale Media. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, "The Myths of the “Genius” Behind Trump’s Reelection Campaign," 11 Sep. 2019 The mayor supports proposed legislation that would authorize loans for states and communities working to incorporate resilience and mitigation while also consolidating grant programs so that communities can afford new technology. Priscilla Thompson, NBC News, "Pete Buttigieg to unveil disaster relief plan in South Carolina," 17 Sep. 2019 Robbins added of choosing to incorporate the Vladimir Tiara in the film. Stephanie Petit,, "Queen Elizabeth's Go-To Tiara Makes a Sneaky Cameo in the Downton Abbey Movie," 16 Sep. 2019 The Dodgers’ brass knew that, and the club instructed him to incorporate his secondary pitches — a slider and two-seam fastball — more frequently to avoid a drastic regression. Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen’s two clean outings in a row trigger optimism," 16 Sep. 2019 To become a city, the question of whether or not to incorporate must be approved by the seven-member township Board of Directors to be placed on a ballot in an election year. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Election 2019: Woodlands Township candidate news and notes," 13 Sep. 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

6 Nov 2019

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


How to pronounce incorporate (audio)

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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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