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 Different dinos dedicated different amounts of time and attention to their eggs throughout the incubation period, which took anywhere from three to six months. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 21 Mar. 2023 The incubation period for the disease is anywhere from 2 days to three weeks, according to the WHO. Staff and Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 13 Feb. 2023 The incubation period does not affect the severity and contagiousness of your symptoms. Ashley Abramson, Health, 25 Aug. 2023 The most common stage for new funds was early stage given that the long incubation period for companies shields them from some of the impact of poor market conditions. Lucy Brewster, Fortune, 3 May 2023 After an incubation period of about a year, the larvae grow into noodle-like worms up to 3 feet long that wrap around tendons, ligaments and connective tissue. Los Angeles Times, 27 Feb. 2023 The incubation period from exposure to symptoms is short -- one to two days. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 26 Jan. 2023 The time of the incubation period may last weeks to months, and can vary depending on the location of the exposure site on the body, the type of rabies virus and any existing immunity. Emily Deletter, USA TODAY, 28 July 2023 Depending on which variant you've been infected with, COVID's incubation period can range from two to 14 days after exposure; RSV has an incubation period of four to eight days.56 Trying to diagnose yourself based off of symptoms and symptom onset alone, however, isn’t fool-proof. Kaitlin Sullivan, Health, 18 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'incubation period.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of incubation period was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near incubation period

Cite this Entry

“Incubation period.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

incubation period

: the period of brooding or incubating required to bring an egg to hatching
: the period between infection with a germ and the appearance of the disease or illness it causes

Medical Definition

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
Quarantines worked to control the SARS epidemic because SARS is much less contagious than flu and has a longer incubation period.Christine Gorman, Time

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