incubus

[ in-kyuh-buh s, ing- ]
/ ˈɪn kyə bəs, ˈɪŋ- /

noun, plural in·cu·bi [in-kyuh-bahy, ing-] /ˈɪn kyəˌbaɪ, ˈɪŋ-/, in·cu·bus·es.

an imaginary demon or evil spirit supposed to descend upon sleeping persons, especially one fabled to have sexual intercourse with women during their sleep.Compare succubus(def 1).
a nightmare.
something that weighs upon or oppresses one like a nightmare.

Origin of incubus

1175–1225; Middle English < Late Latin: a nightmare induced by such a demon, noun derivative of Latin incubāre to lie upon; see incubate

Can be confused

incubus succubus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for incubus

British Dictionary definitions for incubus

incubus

/ (ˈɪnkjʊbəs) /

noun plural -bi (-ˌbaɪ) or -buses

a demon believed in folklore to lie upon sleeping persons, esp to have sexual intercourse with sleeping womenCompare succubus
something that oppresses, worries, or disturbs greatly, esp a nightmare or obsession

Word Origin for incubus

C14: from Late Latin, from incubāre to lie upon; see incubate
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

Medicine definitions for incubus

incubus

[ ĭnkyə-bəs, ĭng- ]

n. pl. in•cu•bus•es

An evil spirit believed to have sexual intercourse with women as they sleep.
A nightmare.
An oppressive or nightmarish burden.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.