- 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 at 80°C for three minutes.
- 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 Word Origin mid 17th cent.: from Latin incubat-
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//