[ in-kuhm-buhnt ]
/ ɪnˈkʌm bənt /
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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.
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
OTHER WORDS FROM incumbentin·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. 2023
How to use incumbent in a sentence
And if Tisei were to pull out a win, he would be the first non-incumbent openly gay Republican to win election to Congress.The GOP’s Great Gay Hope Hits Trouble|Ben Jacobs|October 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Baldwin is also the first openly gay non-incumbent ever elected to Congress.History’s Progressive Gay Politicians that Paved the Way for Mike Michaud|Brandy Zadrozny|November 5, 2013|DAILY BEAST
It can, and I believe it will, push non-incumbent candidates to stand up to the NRA – and go after vulnerable ones who don't.Obama and Bloomberg Together May Unarm the NRA|Robert Shrum|February 15, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The asset is a reputation for administrative competence unmatched by any non-incumbent presidential candidate since .Romney's Biggest Speech|David Frum|August 28, 2012|DAILY BEAST
British Dictionary definitions for incumbent
/ (ɪnˈkʌmbənt) /
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)
a person who holds an office, esp a clergyman holding a benefice
Derived forms of incumbentincumbently, 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
[ (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.