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

The incubator occupied a large stretch of WeWork Aventine in La Jolla, housing more than 75 people as of December. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Tech scene jumps to save ‘homeless’ startups after ThinkTank’s abrupt closure," 11 July 2019 Among the guests: Marilyn Baade, program manager for the Research, Entrepreneurship, Discovery and Innovation Zone (REDIzone), the campus’ incubator for biomedical startups. Julie Washington,, "NEOMED President Dr. Jay Gershen reflects on successes, challenges as he prepares to retire this fall," 25 June 2019 School officials say construction on the $12 million business incubator could begin this summer, thanks in part to a $3 million federal grant that puts the new center in range of being fully funded. USA TODAY, "Mowing quest, mayo man, soybean scare: News from around our 50 states," 17 June 2019 Scott Carpenter, head of policy, Jigsaw—Scott drives international engagement for the Google incubator to solve cybersecurity issues, including the role of AI in geopolitics, radicalization, online harassment, and censorship. Quartz, "Meet the new Quartz Pros: Ghislaine Boddington, Scott Carpenter, Shaun Stewart, Donna Wells," 5 June 2019 That’s why the talent incubator founded by Lulu Kennedy in 2000 has borne such talents as Simone Rocha and Marques’Almeida. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Meet the Young Womenswear Designers Changing the Game in London," 6 Feb. 2019 Domestic arms developers, active for about 35 years, make up 10% of the military equipment procurement and maintenance budget, said David An, a senior research fellow with the policy incubator Global Taiwan Institute in Washington. Ralph Jennings,, "Taiwan's president pledges more security amid concerns about China," 20 May 2018 The new 20-bed ward will have incubators, cardiopulmonary monitors, ventilators and other equipment needed to treat babies. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "Final pasta dinner to help Ugandan children’s hospital," 19 July 2019 Working with partners at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, our team joined the i-Lab’s startup incubator and a series of competitions to fund R&D and patent filings. Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz, Town & Country, "How Mark Zuckerberg Changed the Culture of Harvard Forever," 24 May 2017

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

14 Aug 2019

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The first known use of incubator was in 1857

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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

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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 haphazard or makeshift solution

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