Definition of incubate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    incubate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they incubate
    BrE BrE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪt//
     
    he / she / it incubates
    BrE BrE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪts//
     
    past simple incubated
    BrE BrE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪtɪd//
     
    past participle incubated
    BrE BrE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form incubating
    BrE BrE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪŋkjubeɪtɪŋ//
     
     
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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 at 80°C for three minutes.
  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
  5. Word Origin mid 17th cent.: from Latin incubat- ‘lain on’, from the verb incubare, from in- ‘upon’ + cubare ‘to lie’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: incubate