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 The incubation period for Omicron appears to be on average three days, shorter than with other variants. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 29 Dec. 2021 The first stage is an incubation period where the virus takes hold right after the person is infected. Michelle Shen, USA TODAY, 18 Nov. 2021 If 2020 was an incubation period for the group, then 2021 is a year of resolute action. Syreeta Mcfadden, Rolling Stone, 1 July 2021 The head of the agency said that will put them three weeks out from the last round of reopenings — and the virus’ typical incubation period. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Apr. 2021 Estimates for this exposure-to-symptom gap, called the incubation period, clocked in at about five days for Alpha and four days for Delta. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 20 Dec. 2021 Omicron has a faster incubation period and two doses of vaccine no longer provide adequate protection against infection. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, 11 Jan. 2022 Some reports suggest omicron has a shorter incubation period — that is, the time between someone becoming infected and showing symptoms — than previous variants. Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2022 There have also been a number of studies that indicate a possibly shorter incubation period. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of incubation period

1879, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for incubation period

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The first known use of incubation period was in 1879

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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Incubation period.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on incubation period

Britannica English: Translation of incubation period for Arabic Speakers


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