- 1[transitive] incubate something (of a bird) to sit on its eggs in order to keep them warm until they hatch
- 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[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[intransitive] (medical) (of a disease) to develop slowly without showing any signs
NAmE//ˈɪŋkyəˌbeɪt//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they incubate
he / she / it incubates
past simple incubated
-ing form incubating