Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Beginning to exist or appear: detecting incipient tumors; an incipient personnel problem.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. beginning, starting, coming into existence.
  • n. beginner
  • n. A verb tense of the Hebrew language.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Beginning to be, or to show itself; commencing; initial

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Beginning; commencing; entering on existence or appearance.
  • In Hebrew grammar, noting the verbal tense or form with prefixed servile letters, otherwise called future, present, and imperfect.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. only partly in existence; imperfectly formed

Etymologies

Latin incipiēns, incipient-, present participle of incipere, to begin; see inception.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin incipiēns, present participle of incipiō ("begin"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Over the period of time, there was a gap in terms of the number of forces that should have been on the ground and what I call the incipient growth of this insurgency.

    CNN Transcript Dec 4, 2005

  • The hope, he felt, lay in incipient black militancy, in latent white decency, and, above all, in education.

    A Man From Mars

  • To say "Margaret Thatcher" is to see every past president's eye light up, and the vocal chords quiver in incipient introduction.

    Past Presidents' Dinner

  • "Dare take unto herself the glory of what she calls my incipient cure?

    The Brentons

  • And it is essential to discover the existence of the disease at its beginning, what is called the incipient stage, in order to have the best chance of recovery.

    The Home Medical Library, Volume II (of VI)

  • Again, it may be asked, how is it that varieties, which I have called incipient species, become ultimately converted into good and distinct species which in most cases obviously differ from each other far more than do the varieties of the same species?

    III. Struggle for Existence. The Bearing of Struggle for Existence on Natural Selection

  • And the idea of incipient insanity in young Horne grew stronger than ever in Mr. Wedmore's mind.

    The Wharf by the Docks A Novel

  • If now a region thus underlaid by what we may call incipient lavas is subjected to the peculiar compressive actions which lead to mountain-building, we should naturally expect that such soft material would be poured forth, possibly in vast quantities through fault fissures, which are so readily formed in all kinds of rock when subject to irregular and powerful strains, such as are necessarily brought about when rocks are moved in mountain-making.

    Outlines of the Earth's History A Popular Study in Physiography

  • In the other part of the area, however, where hybridism occurs with perfect freedom, hybrids of various degrees may increase till they equal or even exceed in number the pure species -- that is, the incipient species will be liable to be swamped by intercrossing.

    Darwinism (1889)

  • Again, it may be asked, how is it that varieties, which I have called incipient species, become ultimately converted into good and distinct species, which in most cases obviously differ from each other far more than do the varieties of the same species?

    Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 11

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.