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incubator

[in-kyuh-bey-ter, ing-]
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noun
  1. an apparatus in which eggs are hatched artificially.
  2. an enclosed apparatus in which prematurely born infants are kept in controlled conditions, as of temperature, for protection and care.
  3. an apparatus in which media inoculated with microorganisms are cultivated at a constant temperature.
  4. a person or thing that incubates.
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Origin of incubator

1855–60; < Late Latin: literally, one who lies in or upon (something). See incubate, -tor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for incubator

incubator

noun
  1. med an enclosed transparent boxlike apparatus for housing prematurely born babies under optimum conditions until they are strong enough to survive in the normal environment
  2. a container kept at a constant temperature in which birds' eggs can be artificially hatched or bacterial cultures grown
  3. a person, animal, or thing that incubates
  4. a commercial property, divided into small work units, which provides equipment and support to new businesses
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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 incubator

n.

"apparatus for hatching eggs by artificial heat," 1845, from incubate + -or.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

incubator in Medicine

incubator

(ĭnkyə-bā′tər, ĭng-)
n.
  1. An apparatus in which environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity, can be controlled, often used for growing bacterial cultures, hatching eggs artificially, or providing suitable conditions for a chemical or biological reaction.
  2. An apparatus for maintaining an infant, especially a premature infant, in an environment of controlled temperature, humidity, and oxygen concentration.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

incubator in Science

incubator

[ĭnkyə-bā′tər]
  1. An apparatus in which environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity, can be controlled, often used for growing bacterial cultures, hatching eggs artificially, or providing suitable conditions for a chemical or biological reaction.
  2. An apparatus for maintaining an infant, especially one that is ill or born before the usual gestation period, in an environment of controlled temperature, humidity, and oxygen concentration.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

incubator in Culture

incubator

A specialized crib used in caring for infants, in which the temperature and oxygen content of the air can be controlled. Often, babies who are born prematurely will be placed in an incubator until they have become strong enough to be housed in a regular crib.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.