in·​cu·​ba·​tor | \ ˈiŋ-kyə-ˌbā-tər How to pronounce incubator (audio) , 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 In Andover and Germany, scientists take the line of DNA and put it in an incubator with genetic building blocks to create messenger RNA. Carolyn Y. Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, "A vial, a vaccine and hopes for slowing a pandemic — how a shot comes to be," 18 Nov. 2020 The company is headquartered in Geekdom, the downtown co-working space and startup incubator. Brandon Lingle,, "San Antonio’s Braustin Homes — run by ‘Double-wide Dudes’ — lands $1.9M investment," 16 Nov. 2020 Born three months premature in the early 1950s, the oxygen in the incubator destroyed her optic nerves. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Chin Up: She's 67 and blind; they're in elementary school. What could they possibly have in common?," 1 Nov. 2020 The downtown store was also an incubator for Cloudforest (formerly Cocanu), the fine bean-to-bar chocolate company from Sebastian Cisneros, who worked at Cacao for five years. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "Portland’s finest chocolate shop is closing after nearly 15 years," 28 Oct. 2020 Startup incubator Y Combinator holds its annual Demo Day event virtually next Monday and Tuesday. Owen Thomas,, "An Epic battle over Apple’s App Store," 19 Aug. 2020 A brutal year has forced SoftBank to pivot from tech firm/startup-incubator into asset management. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Gold takes a battering, but investors aren’t losing faith," 12 Aug. 2020 Loweth’s work has also won over MatchesFashion, which welcomed Art School and Harris Reed to its Innovators incubator program this fall. Alison S. Cohn, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gender-Fluid Fashion Finally Enters the Mainstream," 16 Nov. 2020 On the small business and entrepreneurship initiatives, $1,725,000 is earmarked for agencies that include Propeller, a small business incubator, and Good Work Network, which focuses on minority and women-owned businesses. Anthony Mcauley | Staff Writer,, "New Orleans gets $5m JP Morgan grant to boost environmental jobs and businesses," 12 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for incubator

Time Traveler

The first known use of incubator was in 1857

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Statistics for incubator

Last Updated

1 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Incubator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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How to pronounce incubator (audio)

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 How to pronounce incubator (audio) \

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- How to pronounce incubator (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on incubator

Nglish: Translation of incubator for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about incubator

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