Word of the Day : May 11, 2019


adjective in-SIP-ee-unt


: beginning to come into being or to become apparent

Did You Know?

A good starting point for any investigation of incipient is the Latin verb incipere, which means "to begin." Incipient emerged in English in the 17th century, appearing in both religious and scientific contexts, as in "incipient grace" and "incipient putrefaction." Later came the genesis of two related nouns, incipiency and incipience, both of which are synonymous with beginning. Incipere also stands at the beginning of the words inception ("an act, process, or instance of beginning") and incipit, a term that literally means "it begins" and which was used for the opening words of a medieval text. Incipere itself derives from another Latin verb, capere, which means "to take" or "to seize."


"I read the motive as being dictated by the necessity of stifling an incipient scandal in order to protect the magic of the marketplace." — James Baldwin, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, 1985

"As investment in the industry grows, partnerships and acquisitions are gaining speed, reports CB Insights. Over the past few years, Uber has partnered with five flying-car startups for its incipient flying-taxi service…." — Michael J. Coren, Quartz, 13 Oct. 2018

Word Family Quiz

Fill in the blanks to complete a word (probably) derived from Latin capere, "to take," that implies that something, such as a will, is not written but has been communicated verbally: n _ _ c _ p _ t _ _ e.



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