American English

Definition of incubate verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they incubate
    he / she / it incubates
    past simple incubated
    -ing form incubating
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  1. 1[transitive] incubate something (of a bird) to sit on its eggs in order to keep them warm until they hatch
  2. 2[transitive] incubate something (biology) to keep cells, bacteria, etc. at a suitable temperature so that they develop The samples were incubated in the lab for three days.
  3. 3[transitive] be incubating something (medical) to have an infectious disease developing inside you before symptoms (= signs of illness) appear The source of infection may be a person who is incubating an infectious disease.
  4. 4[intransitive] (medical) (of a disease) to develop slowly without showing any signs
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: incubate