[ in-sip-ee-uhnt ]
/ ɪnˈsɪp i ənt /


beginning to exist or appear; in an initial stage: an incipient cold.

Origin of incipient

1580–90; < Latin incipient- (stem of incipiēns, present participle of incipere to take in hand, begin), equivalent to in- in-2 + -cipi- (combining form of capi- take) + -ent- -ent

Related forms

in·cip·i·ent·ly, adverb

Can be confused

incipient insipid insipient Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for incipient

British Dictionary definitions for incipient


/ (ɪnˈsɪpɪənt) /


just starting to be or happen; beginning

Derived Forms

incipience or incipiency, nounincipiently, adverb

Word Origin for incipient

C17: from Latin incipiēns, 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