incubate

play
verb in·cu·bate \ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbāt, ˈin-\

Definition of incubate

incubated

;

incubating

  1. transitive verb
  2. 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

  3. 2 :  to cause or aid the development of incubate an idea

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to sit on eggs

  6. 2 :  to undergo incubation :  develop

incubative

play \ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbā-tiv, ˈin-\ adjective

incubatory

play \ˈiŋ-kyə-bə-ˌtȯr-ē, -ˌbā-tə-rē, ˈin-\ adjective

Examples of incubate in a Sentence

  1. The female bird incubates the eggs.

  2. Researchers incubated the cells in the laboratory.

  3. The cultures must incubate for five more days.

  4. The virus will incubate in the body for several days before the patient experiences any symptoms.

Recent Examples of incubate from the Web

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: 1641


INCUBATE Defined for English Language Learners

incubate

play
verb

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

incubate

play
verb in·cu·bate \ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbāt\

Definition of incubate for Students

incubated

;

incubating

  1. 1 :  to sit upon eggs to hatch them by warmth

  2. 2 :  to keep under conditions good for hatching or development


Medical Dictionary

incubate

play
verb in·cu·bate \ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbāt, ˈin-\

Medical Definition of incubate

incubated

;

incubating

  1. 1

  2. transitive verb

  3. :  to maintain (as eggs, embryos of animals, or bacteria) under prescribed and usually controlled conditions favorable for hatching or development especially in an incubator

  4. 2:  to maintain (a chemically active system) under controlled conditions for the development of a reaction

  5. intransitive verb

  6. :  to undergo incubation the cultures incubated for five days



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