incumbent

[ in-kuhm-buh nt ]
/ ɪnˈkʌm bənt /

adjective

holding an indicated position, role, office, etc., currently: the incumbent officers of the club.
obligatory (often followed by on or upon): a duty incumbent upon me.
Archaic. resting, lying, leaning, or pressing on something: incumbent upon the cool grass.

noun

the holder of an office: The incumbent was challenged by a fusion candidate.
British. a person who holds an ecclesiastical benefice.

Origin of incumbent

1375–1425; late Middle English (noun) < Latin incumbent- (stem of incumbēns present participle of incumbere to lie or lean upon, equivalent to in- in-2 + cumb- (nasalized variant of cub- sit, lie; see incubus) + -ent- -ent

Related forms

in·cum·bent·ly, adverban·ti-in·cum·bent, adjective, nounnon·in·cum·bent, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for incumbent on

incumbent

/ (ɪnˈkʌmbənt) /

adjective

formal (often postpositive and foll by on or upon and an infinitive) morally binding or necessary; obligatoryit is incumbent on me to attend
(usually postpositive and foll by on) resting or lying (on)

noun

a person who holds an office, esp a clergyman holding a benefice

Derived Forms

incumbently, adverb

Word Origin for incumbent

C16: from Latin incumbere to lie upon, devote one's attention to, from in- ² + -cumbere, related to Latin cubāre to lie down
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

Culture definitions for incumbent on

incumbent

[ (in-kum-buhnt) ]

One who holds a public office. By virtue of their experience in office, their exposure to the public, and their ability to raise campaign funds, incumbents usually have a significant advantage over opponents if they choose to run for reelection.


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.

Idioms and Phrases with incumbent on

incumbent on

Also, incumbent upon. Imposed as an obligation or duty on, obligatory for. For example, He felt it was incumbent on us all to help the homeless. [Mid-1500s]


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.