in·​cu·​ba·​tion | \ ˌiŋ-kyə-ˈbā-shən How to pronounce incubation (audio) , ˌin- \

Definition of incubation

1 : the act or process of incubating

Examples of incubation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At the end of their life cycle, female cicadas will lay eggs inside tree branches, which will hatch and head back for the soil for another 17-year incubation. Christine Condon,, "The cicadas are coming to Maryland. Here’s what you need to know about Brood X.," 4 May 2021 Melinda Gates launched Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company, in 2015. Alexis Benveniste, CNN, "A timeline of Bill and Melinda Gates' relationship," 4 May 2021 Biologists also hiked to nests to check on eggs and collect them for off-site incubation as necessary. Susan Cosier, Scientific American, "Ecologists Saved Bald Eagles with Helicopter Parenting," 30 Apr. 2021 Artificial fertilization and incubation will occur during the trek. David Fear, Rolling Stone, "‘Voyagers’: Teenagers, Lost (and Horny) in Space," 8 Apr. 2021 As of early March, the nest held two eagle eggs, with the adult birds trading incubation shifts. Val Cunningham Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Robins eat more than worms. They also know how to fish," 24 Mar. 2021 For the past five years, Sephora has been building its Accelerate program, an incubation initiative to help seedling beauty brands grow into global retail labels. Megan Decker,, "Meet The BIPOC-Owned Brands Launching At Sephora In 2021," 9 Feb. 2021 The viral transmission is much quicker with influenza than with coronavirus, and the incubation is typically one to four days after infection; coronavirus incubation period ranges from two days to as long as 14 days, according to some reports. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Article falsely claims studies signal CDC admission that masks don't work," 2 Dec. 2020 The state’s guidance suggests that districts monitor numbers for 28 days — two incubation cycles of the virus — before making such a shift. Erin Golden, Star Tribune, "COVID-19 surge pushes more Minnesota schools to distance learning," 13 Nov. 2020

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

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for incubation

Time Traveler

The first known use of incubation was in 1646

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Statistics for incubation

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Incubation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for incubation


in·​cu·​ba·​tion | \ ˌiŋ-kyə-ˈbā-shən How to pronounce incubation (audio) \

Kids Definition of incubation

1 : the act or process of incubating incubation of eggs
2 : the period of time between infection with germs and the appearance of symptoms of illness or disease


in·​cu·​ba·​tion | \ ˌiŋ-kyə-ˈbā-shən, ˌin- How to pronounce incubation (audio) \

Medical Definition of incubation

1 : the act or process of incubating

Other Words from incubation

incubational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce incubation (audio) \ adjective

Comments on incubation

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