Meaning of “incubate” in the English Dictionary

"incubate" in English

See all translations

incubateverb [ I or T ]

uk /ˈɪŋ.kjə.beɪt/ us /ˈɪŋ.kjə.beɪt/

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.
noun [ U ] uk /ˌɪŋ.kjəˈbeɪ.ʃən/ us /ˌɪŋ.kjəˈbeɪ.ʃən/

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.

(Definition of “incubate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"incubate" in American English

See all translations

incubateverb [ I/T ]

us /ˈɪŋ·kjəˌbeɪt, ˈɪn-/

to keep something warm, causing it to develop, esp. to keep eggs warm until the young are born:

Condors incubate only one egg and raise one chick at a time.
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that incubate in forest animals, such as mice.

(Definition of “incubate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)