Definition of incubation noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌɪŋkjuˈbeɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌɪŋkjuˈbeɪʃn//
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  1. 1[uncountable] the hatching of eggs artificial incubation (= using artificial warmth)
  2. 2[countable] (also incubation period) (medical or biology) the time between somebody being infected with a disease and the appearance of the first symptoms (= signs) The incubation period of the virus is 24 to 48 hours.
  3. 3[uncountable] (biology) the development and growth of bacteria, etc.
  4. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from Latin incubatio(n-) ‘brooding’, from the verb incubare, from in- ‘upon’ + cubare ‘to lie’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: incubation