extant copies of books produced in the earliest stages (before 1501) of printing from movable type.
the earliest stages or first traces of anything.
Origin of incunabula
1815–25; < Latin: straps holding a baby in a cradle, earliest home, birthplace, probably equivalent to *incūnā(re) to place in a cradle (in-in-2 + *-cūnāre, verbal derivative of cūnae cradle) + -bula, plural of -bulum suffix of instrument; def. 1 as translation of GermanWiegendrucke
Related formsin·cu·nab·u·lar, adjectivepost·in·cu·nab·u·la, adjective