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

Michael Seibel, chief executive of Y Combinator, says companies coming out of its incubator typically are valued between $6 million and $12 million. Eliot Brown, WSJ, "More Venture-Capital Money Is Going Into Fewer Startup Deals," 11 Nov. 2018 Through its Ask a Woman to Run tool and She Should Run incubator, women from all backgrounds can enroll in courses on leadership, networking, and communication skills to build their individual paths to candidacy. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "6 Political Candidate Organizations Helping Women Run for Office," 25 Oct. 2018 But Congress can build on successes or fix problems that arise, instead of spending more years in a partisan impasse over a prison system that can too often be an incubator of future crime and lost lives. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Lessons of a Crime Bill," 21 Dec. 2018 Although Washington is an incubator of high-pay, high-skill jobs, research shows many of those jobs are going to people who move here from elsewhere, and not the students who graduate from Washington’s public K-12 schools. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "Washington voters don’t think schools prepare kids for careers. The state is trying to change that.," 31 Oct. 2018 On the first Tuesday of every month a room at Generator, a business incubator and collection of artist studios in Burlington, is outfitted with a glowing obstacle course so pilots can hone their skills. Fox News, "Vermont city features drone racing obstacle course," 8 Aug. 2018 New York City also has pledged $500 million to bolster the industry through tax incentives, investments in incubators and a new research and entrepreneurial-training campus. Kate King, WSJ, "New York Gives $25 Million to Breathe Life Into City’s Biotech Scene," 19 July 2018 In the last two years, Eckert has been running The Pink Ceiling, a cross between a VC fund, incubator, and consulting firm with a focus on women. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "What the Entrepreneur Behind 'Female Viagra' Has Learned In the Last 2 Years," 25 June 2018 Many new organizations, incubators, and partnerships have taken shape over the last few years to accelerate that development, including Refresh Miami and The LAB, a coworking space. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Miami’s growing tech scene tries to level up," 8 May 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

16 Jan 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on incubator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with incubator

Spanish Central: Translation of incubator

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

Comments on incubator

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a complex dispute or argument

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