Definitions

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

  • adj. Imposed as an obligation or duty; obligatory: felt it was incumbent on us all to help.
  • adj. Lying, leaning, or resting on something else: incumbent rock strata.
  • adj. Currently holding a specified office: the incumbent mayor.
  • n. A person who holds an office or ecclesiastical benefice: The incumbent was reelected to another term.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Imposed on someone as an obligation, especially due to one's office.
  • adj. Resting on something else.
  • adj. Being the current holder of an office or a title.
  • n. The current holder of an office, such as ecclesiastical benefice or an elected office.
  • n. A holder of a position as supplier to a market or market segment that allows the holder to earn above-normal profits.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Lying; resting; reclining; recumbent; superimposed; superincumbent.
  • adj. Lying, resting, or imposed, as a duty or obligation; obligatory; always with on or upon.
  • adj. Leaning or resting; -- said of anthers when lying on the inner side of the filament, or of cotyledons when the radicle lies against the back of one of them.
  • adj. Bent downwards so that the ends touch, or rest on, something else.
  • n. A person who is in present possession of a benefice or of any office.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Lying or resting on something.
  • Specifically
  • Lying, leaning, or resting lengthwise, in whole or in part, upon a surface to which there is only one point of actual attachment or none.
  • Lying or resting as a duty or obligation; imposed, and pressing to performance.
  • n. One who discharges stated functions; the holder of an office of any kind; especially, one who discharges ecclesiastical functions; one who holds a benefice.
  • In geology, resting upon: said of one series of strata which is supported by a subjacent one.

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

  • n. the official who holds an office
  • adj. currently holding an office
  • adj. lying or leaning on something else
  • adj. necessary (for someone) as a duty or responsibility; morally binding

Etymologies

Middle English, holder of an office, from Medieval Latin incumbēns, incumbent-, from Latin, present participle of incumbere, to lean upon, apply oneself to : in-, on; see in-2 + -cumbere, to recline.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from stem incumbent-, of Medieval Latin incumbēns ("holder of a church position"), from Latin present participle of incumbō ("I lie down upon"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • salaries of job incumbents in his or her company

    February 18, 2011

  • It gave patients an opportunity once a year to compare notes on the medical records of both the challenger and incumbent.

    September 14, 2010