Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “incubate”

See all translations

incubate

verb [I or T] uk   /ˈɪŋ.kjʊ.beɪt/ us  

incubate verb [I or T] (EGG)

When a bird, etc. incubates its eggs, it keeps them warm until the young come out, and when eggs incubate, they develop to the stage at which the young come out: The female bird incubates the eggs for about 16 days.

incubate verb [I or T] (DISEASE)

When harmful bacteria or viruses incubate, or when a person or animal incubates them, they increase in size or number in the person's or animal's body but do not yet produce the effects of disease.
incubation
noun [U] uk   /ˌɪŋ.kjʊˈbeɪ.ʃən/ us  
The incubation period varies depending on the time of year when the eggs were laid. In smallpox, there is an incubation period of 8–18 days between initial infection and first symptoms.
Translations of “incubate”
in Spanish incubar…
in French couver, incuber…
in German ausbrüten, die Inkubationszeit…
in Chinese (Traditional) 蛋, 孵(卵),孵化…
in Chinese (Simplified) 蛋, 孵(卵),孵化…
(Definition of incubate from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of incubate?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “incubate” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

glacial

made or left by a glacier

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More