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.

Nearby words

  1. incubation patch,
  2. incubation period,
  3. incubative stage,
  4. incubator,
  5. incubous,
  6. incudal,
  7. incudectomy,
  8. incudes,
  9. incudomalleal,
  10. incudostapedial

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 confusedincubus 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

Word Origin and History for incubus

incubus

n.

c.1200, from Late Latin (Augustine), from Latin incubo "nightmare, one who lies down on (the sleeper)," from incubare "to lie upon" (see incubate). Plural is incubi. In the Middle Ages their existence was recognized by law.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.