Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act of incubating.
  • noun The state of being incubated.
  • noun Medicine The development of an infection from the time the pathogen enters the body until signs or symptoms first appear.
  • noun Medicine The maintenance of an infant, especially a premature infant, in an environment of controlled temperature, humidity, and oxygen concentration in order to provide optimal conditions for growth and development.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of sitting, as on eggs, for the purpose of hatching; brooding; hatching: often used figuratively, as of writings, schemes, etc.
  • noun In pathology, the unnoticed or unknown processes or changes which occur in the interval between the exposure to an infectious disease and the development of its first symptoms.
  • noun A lying in or within; specifically, the act of sleeping in a temple for the purpose of obtaining revelations by dreams, or in the hope of being visited by the god and relieved of some ailment, as in the Greek sanctuaries of Æsculapius.
  • noun In pathology, the period that elapses between the introduction of the morbific principle and the outbreak of the disease.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A sitting on eggs for the purpose of hatching young; a brooding on, or keeping warm, (eggs) to develop the life within, by any process.
  • noun (Med.) The development of a disease from its causes, or its period of incubation. (See below.)
  • noun A sleeping in a consecrated place for the purpose of dreaming oracular dreams.
  • noun The maintenance (of a living organism, such as microorganisms or a premature baby) in appropriate conditions, such as of temperature, humidity, or atmospheric composition, for growth.
  • noun The gradual development in some interior environment, until fully formed.
  • noun (Med.) the period which elapses between exposure to the causes of an infectious disease and the attack resulting from it; the time during which an infective agent must grow in the body before producing overt symptoms of disease.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Sitting on eggs for the purpose of hatching young; a brooding on, or keeping warm, to develop the life within, by any process.
  • noun pathology The development of a disease from its causes, or its period of incubation. (See below.)
  • noun chemistry A period of little reaction which is followed by more rapid reaction.
  • noun Sleeping in a temple or other holy place in order to have oracular dreams.

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

  • noun sitting on eggs so as to hatch them by the warmth of the body
  • noun (pathology) the phase in the development of an infection between the time a pathogen enters the body and the time the first symptoms appear
  • noun maintaining something at the most favorable temperature for its development

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin incubationem, from incubare.

Examples

  • CLEMENT: These are cases that have what we call incubation, that is, they have a respirator on them to assist breathing.

    CNN Transcript May 25, 2003

  • But rabies incubation is very long, said Zhen Fu, DVM Ph. D., professor of pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia.

    The mysteries of rabies Boing Boing

  • THE RAT TRAP: In need of creative solace for various writing ventures that are still in long-term incubation, I headed alone to the Finborough Theatre in Chelsea to witness some actors putting themselves through the mill at the outer limits of the creative world.

    Archive 2006-12-01

  • THE RAT TRAP: In need of creative solace for various writing ventures that are still in long-term incubation, I headed alone to the Finborough Theatre in Chelsea to witness some actors putting themselves through the mill at the outer limits of the creative world.

    Walk The Blog

  • VEM-like material that accumulated in incubation fluid when kidney slices were incubated anaerobically.

    Robert F. Furchgott - Autobiography

  • "They offer, in short, incubation for ideas questionably modern."

    The Tyranny of Weakness

  • In the ass and mule in almost all cases the period of incubation is short and the disease develops in an acute form.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

  • For long-term incubation, oocytes were cultured in MEM with 20\% foetal calf serum in a

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • The Courier project is in "incubation" - so a long way from going on sale - but there is speculation that a mid-2010 launch is still possible.

    The First Post: Latest

  • The Courier project is in "incubation" - so a long way from going on sale - but there is speculation that a mid-2010 launch is still possible.

    The First Post: Latest

Comments

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  • A religious practice of sleeping in a sacred area with the intention of experiencing a divinely inspired dream or cure. Incubation was practised by members of the cult of Asclepius. Votive offerings found at his ritual centres at Epidaurus, Pergamum, and Rome detail the perceived effectiveness of the method. Incubation was adopted by certain Christian sects and is still used in a few Greek monasteries.

    May 13, 2008

  • Muslims are encouraged to 'spend time' in mosques during the month of Ramadan, which can involve sleeping there. This practice is known as ihtikaaf.

    May 14, 2008