- to sit on and hatch (eggs)
- to keep (eggs, embryos, bacteria, etc.) in a favorable environment for hatching or developing
- to cause to develop or take form, as by thought or planning
Origin of incubate; from Classical Latin incubatus, past participle of incubare, to lie in or upon ; from in-, in- + cubare, to lie: see cube
- to go through the process of incubation
- to develop or take form, esp. gradually
verbin·cu·bat·ed, in·cu·bat·ing, in·cu·bates
- To sit on (eggs) to provide heat, so as to promote embryonic development and the hatching of young; brood.
- a. To maintain (eggs, organisms, or living tissue) at optimal environmental conditions for growth and development.b. To maintain (a chemical or biochemical system) under specific conditions in order to promote a particular reaction.
- To be infected with (a pathogen) before manifesting signs or symptoms of an infectious disease.
- To form or consider slowly and protectively, as if hatching: incubated the idea for a while, then announced it.
- To brood eggs.
- To develop and hatch.
- To undergo incubation.
Origin of incubateLatin incubare, incubat-, to lie down on : in-, on; see in–2 + cubare, to lie down.
(third-person singular simple present incubates, present participle incubating, simple past and past participle incubated)