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incumbent

[ in-kuhm-buhnt ]
/ ɪnˈkʌm bənt /
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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.
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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

OTHER WORDS FROM incumbent

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. 2022

How to use incumbent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for incumbent

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 of incumbent

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

Cultural definitions for incumbent

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.
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