[ in-kyuh-bey-shuhn, ing- ]
See synonyms for incubation on
  1. the act or process of incubating.

  2. the state of being incubated.

Origin of incubation

First recorded in 1605–15, incubation is from the Latin word incubātiōn- (stem of incubātiō). See incubate, -ion

Other words from incubation

  • in·cu·ba·tion·al, in·cu·ba·to·ry [in-kyuh-buh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, ing-], /ˈɪn kyə bəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˈɪŋ-/, adjective

Words Nearby incubation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use incubation in a sentence

Scientific definitions for incubation


[ ĭn′kyə-bāshən ]

  1. The act of warming eggs in order to hatch them, as by a bird sitting upon a clutch of eggs in a nest.

  2. The act of keeping an organism, a cell, or cell culture in conditions favorable for growth and development.

  1. The maintenance of an infant, especially one that is ill or born before the usual gestation period, in an environment of controlled temperature, humidity, and oxygen concentration in order to provide optimal conditions for growth and development.

  2. The development of an infection from the time the pathogen enters the body until signs or symptoms first appear.

Other words from incubation

  • incubate verb

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.