incubus

noun
in·​cu·​bus | \ ˈiŋ-kyə-bəs How to pronounce incubus (audio) , ˈin- \
plural incubi\ ˈiŋ-​kyə-​ˌbī How to pronounce incubus (audio) , -​ˌbē , ˈin-​ \ also incubuses

Definition of incubus

1 : an evil spirit that lies on persons in their sleep especially : one that has sexual intercourse with women while they are sleeping — compare succubus
3 : one that oppresses or burdens like a nightmare

Examples of incubus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As Tommy’s experiences in the tunnels of France mark a continued incubus for his character, with visions of being pulled into the mud, the sounding of the bell coincides with his own inner peace. Josh St. Clair, Men's Health, 13 June 2022 An incubus is the male variety (and also that band). Angie Jones, Glamour, 17 Mar. 2022

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incubus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of incubus

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for incubus

Middle English, from Late Latin, from Latin incubare

Learn More About incubus

Time Traveler for incubus

Time Traveler

The first known use of incubus was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near incubus

incubous

incubus

incud-

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for incubus

Cite this Entry

“Incubus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incubus. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for incubus

incubus

noun
in·​cu·​bus | \ ˈiŋ-kyə-bəs, ˈin- How to pronounce incubus (audio) \
plural incubi\ -​ˌbī How to pronounce incubus (audio) , -​ˌbē How to pronounce incubus (audio) \ also incubuses

Medical Definition of incubus

1 : an evil spirit at one time thought to lie on persons in their sleep especially : one thought to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women — compare succubus
2 : nightmare

More from Merriam-Webster on incubus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for incubus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about incubus

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!