Definition of incubate
1a : to sit on (eggs) so as to hatch by the warmth of the bodyb : to maintain (something, such as an embryo or a chemically active system) under conditions favorable for hatching, development, or reaction
2 : to cause or aid the development of incubate an idea
1 : to sit on eggs
incubativeplay \ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbā-tiv, ˈin-\ adjective
incubatoryplay \ˈiŋ-kyə-bə-ˌtȯr-ē, -ˌbā-tə-rē, ˈin-\ adjective
Examples of incubate in a Sentence
The female bird incubates the eggs.
Researchers incubated the cells in the laboratory.
The cultures must incubate for five more days.
The virus will incubate in the body for several days before the patient experiences any symptoms.
Recent Examples of incubate from the Web
Political parties—many of which are said to have been incubated by the army for this purpose—tend to pander to the army.
Parents of the newborn chick unknowingly sit atop the fake egg while the bird department artificially incubates the real one.
To see whether semen fibrils might be facilitating this process, the researchers incubated healthy sperm with or without the synthetic fibrils, and then measured how many sperm were being eaten up by immune cells.
Because the disease can incubate for years and possibly decades, estimates of the ultimate human toll from mad cow vary wildly, from a few hundred to more than 100,000.
They are developed in academic settings, incubated by policy entrepreneurs in think tanks, and groomed for candidates to run on and then, finally, implement in office.
Pivotal Commware is the fourth company incubated at Intellectual Ventures — a patent licensing company — that has a focus on metamaterials technology, which involves components infused with properties not found in nature.
Alongside that, [founder, chairman and CEO] Peter Ma has been able to incubate and create new platforms repeatedly.
But part of what makes this particular kingpin so fascinating is that Silk Road wasn’t incubated in Mountain View, Menlo Park or the antiseptic co-working spaces of San Francisco.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incubate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of incubate
Latin incubatus, past participle of incubare, from in- + cubare to lie
First Known Use: 1641See Words from the same year
INCUBATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of incubate for English Language Learners
of a bird : to sit on eggs so that they will be kept warm and will hatch
of an egg : to be kept warm before hatching
: to keep (something) in the proper conditions for development
INCUBATE Defined for Kids
Definition of incubate for Students
1 : to sit upon eggs to hatch them by warmth
2 : to keep under conditions good for hatching or development
Medical Definition of incubate
transitive verb: to maintain (as eggs, embryos of animals, or bacteria) under prescribed and usually controlled conditions favorable for hatching or development especially in an incubator
2: to maintain (a chemically active system) under controlled conditions for the development of a reaction
intransitive verb: to undergo incubation the cultures incubated for five days
Seen and Heard
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