in·cu·ba·tor | \ ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbā-tər , ˈin- \

Definition of incubator 

: one that incubates: such as

a : an apparatus by which eggs are hatched artificially

b : an apparatus with a chamber used to provide controlled environmental conditions especially for the cultivation of microorganisms or the care and protection of premature or sick babies

c : an organization or place that aids the development of new business ventures especially by providing low-cost commercial space, management assistance, or shared services

Examples of incubator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Last month, Google’s in-house start-up incubator Area 120 made a Waze-like competitor for the New York City subway system that similarly lets users report delays and accidents. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Google Maps may be getting Waze’s best feature: incident reporting," 29 June 2018 She will be cared for in an incubator for the next few months, the zoo said. Kellen Browning, sacbee, "Newborn red panda cub at Sacramento Zoo fighting to survive," 28 June 2018 Born prematurely, the child was placed in an incubator for two months and developed a degenerative retinal disease apparently caused by excessive oxygen. Sam Roberts,, "Brooks Kerr, piano prodigy and Ellington expert," 11 May 2018 The city of Eubie Blake and Philip Glass has long been an incubator of piano talent, thanks in part to the Peabody Institute, just a few blocks away. Christina Tkacik,, "Piano 'marathon' highlights classical music's enduring appeal," 7 May 2018 There are currently 35 businesses in the incubator. J.k. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF’s La Cocina Tenderloin marketplace project hits roadblock," 5 May 2018 Wu said the incubator will start with 10 to 20 members, and grow from there. Rebecca Lurye,, "How Seven Stars Cloud Plans To Spend $283M In West Hartford," 14 July 2018 The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center, a collaboration involving the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Worcester campuses, has been chosen as one of eight business incubators to help eradicate the flu and sepsis. Morgan Hughes,, "Curing the flu, wedding dresses for soldiers, and food for the elderly," 13 July 2018 La Cocina has officially signed a lease at 101 Hyde St. in the Tenderloin, envisioned as the future home of its sprawling food hall and culinary incubator. Justin Phillips,, "La Cocina’s Tenderloin food hall takes a step forward," 11 July 2018

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

1857, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for incubator

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for incubator

The first known use of incubator was in 1857

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More Definitions for incubator



English Language Learners Definition of incubator

: a device that is used to keep eggs warm before they hatch

medical : a piece of equipment in which very weak or sick babies are placed for special care and protection after their birth

business : an organization or place that helps in the development of new businesses


in·cu·ba·tor | \ ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbā-tər \

Kids Definition of incubator

1 : a device that provides enough heat to hatch eggs artificially

2 : a device to help the growth of tiny newborn babies


in·cu·ba·tor | \ ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbāt-ər, ˈin- \

Medical Definition of incubator 

: one that incubates especially : an apparatus with a chamber used to provide controlled environmental conditions especially for the cultivation of microorganisms or the care and protection of premature or sick babies

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Comments on incubator

What made you want to look up incubator? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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