incubate

verb
in·​cu·​bate | \ ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbāt How to pronounce incubate (audio) , ˈin- \
incubated; incubating

Definition of incubate

transitive verb

1a : to sit on (eggs) so as to hatch by the warmth of the body
b : 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

intransitive verb

1 : to sit on eggs
2 : to undergo incubation : develop

Other Words from incubate

incubative \ ˈiŋ-​kyə-​ˌbā-​tiv How to pronounce incubate (audio) , ˈin-​ \ adjective
incubatory \ ˈiŋ-​kyə-​bə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce incubate (audio) , -​ˌbā-​tə-​rē , ˈin-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for incubate

Synonyms

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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 on the Web According to physician-historian José G. Rigau-Pérez, Spanish officials purposely infected orphans with the virus so that their bodies would incubate it. Jim Downs, STAT, 23 June 2022 These embryos were at a late stage of development, and the close proximity of the parent confirmed that this dinosaur really did incubate its nest like its modern bird cousins. Katie Hunt, CNN, 17 Apr. 2022 As such, raises in the global temperature could lead to certain animals being unable to incubate their eggs in the wild. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 17 Mar. 2022 This environment of uncertainty and anxiety allows conspiracies to incubate and spread, and there doesn't seem to be a clear end in sight. Taylor Mooney, CBS News, 14 Apr. 2020 Elmer and Lima were given a chance to incubate the egg. NBC News, 2 Feb. 2022 Bald eagles typically lay eggs and incubate them between January and April, according to wildlife experts. Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2022 The same kind of dinosaurs are also known to have sat on top of their eggs to incubate them in a way similar to birds, Zelenitsky said. Katie Hunt, CNN, 21 Dec. 2021 Researchers mix the blood samples with the Omicron pseudovirus in lab dishes and incubate them. Peter Loftus, WSJ, 8 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of incubate

1641, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for incubate

Latin incubatus, past participle of incubare, from in- + cubare to lie

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Time Traveler for incubate

Time Traveler

The first known use of incubate was in 1641

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Dictionary Entries Near incubate

incrustation

incubate

incubation

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Statistics for incubate

Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Incubate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incubate. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for incubate

incubate

verb
in·​cu·​bate | \ ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbāt How to pronounce incubate (audio) \
incubated; incubating

Kids Definition of incubate

1 : to sit upon eggs to hatch them by warmth
2 : to keep under conditions good for hatching or development

incubate

verb
in·​cu·​bate | \ ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbāt, ˈin- How to pronounce incubate (audio) \
incubated; incubating

Medical Definition of incubate

transitive verb

1 : 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

More from Merriam-Webster on incubate

Nglish: Translation of incubate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of incubate for Arabic Speakers

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