incubation period


Definition of incubation period

: the period between the infection of an individual by a pathogen and the manifestation of the illness or disease it causes

Examples of incubation period in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Officials have said the first three weeks are crucial, considering incubation periods. Washington Post, "South Korea confirms 4th swine fever case in a week," 24 Sep. 2019 The agriculture ministry said the next three weeks will be crucial for fighting the outbreak, considering the disease’s incubation periods. San Diego Union-Tribune, "South Korea says 2 farms tested negative for swine fever," 20 Sep. 2019 Sick animals may not immediately show symptoms, though, because the disease can have an incubation period of at least 16 months. Nyssa Kruse, Arkansas Online, "New case of chronic wasting disease diagnosed in Arkansas deer," 6 Dec. 2019 Unenrolling during the disease’s 21-day incubation period allows the Damonte Ranch High School students to avoid being classified as chronically absent. USA TODAY, "Bye-bye to Bei Bei, reverse bank robbery, squirrel survey: News from around our 50 states," 18 Nov. 2019 Rabies vaccinations, however, offer excellent protection, and due to the rabies virus’s long incubation period, post exposure treatments are also effective. Jon Kelvey,, "Kitten with rabies found near Manchester, Carroll County health officials say," 5 Nov. 2019 The average incubation period is two to four years. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Nevada fighting to keep ‘zombie deer’ from entering state," 6 Oct. 2019 The answer awaits in October when the incubation period ends. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian, "Two Male Penguins in Berlin Join Long Line of Same-Sex Pairs to Adopt an Egg," 16 Aug. 2019 But lung cancers, which some doctors believe could pose a significant risk to people exposed to the carcinogens in the dust near Ground Zero, have a longer incubation period. Caroline Lester, The New Yorker, "The Continuing Legacy of 9/11," 11 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incubation period.' 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 incubation period

1879, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for incubation period

Time Traveler

The first known use of incubation period was in 1879

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Statistics for incubation period

Last Updated

31 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Incubation period.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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incubation period


Medical Definition of incubation period

: the period between the infection of an individual by a pathogen and the manifestation of the disease it causes Mono, which has an incubation period of 30 to 50 days, characteristically announces itself with headaches, fever, sore throat, tonsillitis, and extreme fatigue.Your Health & Fitness, October/November 1986 Quarantines worked to control the SARS epidemic because SARS is much less contagious than flu and has a longer incubation period.— Christine Gorman, Time, 17 Oct. 1995

More from Merriam-Webster on incubation period

Britannica English: Translation of incubation period for Arabic Speakers

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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