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

hard luck story

a story or piece of information that someone tells you or writes about himself or herself, intended to make you feel feel sympathy for that person

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More