verb (used with object)

to take in; ingest.

Origin of incept

1560–70; < Latin inceptus past participle of incipere to begin, undertake, equivalent to in- in-2 + cep- (combining form of cap- take; see captive) + -tus past participle suffix; sense “take in” by literal translation of prefix and base
Related formsin·cep·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for incept

Historical Examples of incept

  • In Jan. 1527/8, he obtained grace to incept after fourteen years of study.

  • Those about to incept first read their lectures, then opened a discussion on certain questions.

  • In Nov. 1516, he obtained grace to incept, and asked for a reduction of his composition by one-half, which was probably granted.

  • The meaning of this is not clear; perhaps he had already gone round once and failed to incept at the ensuing Congregation.

  • In 1526 he supplicated that four years study after the degree of Bachelor might entitle him to incept.

British Dictionary definitions for incept


verb (tr)

(of organisms) to ingest (food)
British (formerly) to take a master's or doctor's degree at a university


botany a rudimentary organ
Derived Formsinceptor, noun

Word Origin for incept

C19: from Latin inceptus begun, attempted, from incipere to begin, take in hand, from in- ² + capere to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for incept

1560s, from Latin inceptus, past participle of incipere "to begin" (see inception). Related: Incepted.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper