Incubate In"cu*bate, v. i. & t. [imp. & p. p. {Incubated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Incubating}.] [L. incubatus, p. p. incubare to lie on; pref. in- in, on + cubare to lie down. Cf. {Cubit}, {Incumbent}.] 1. To sit, as on eggs for hatching; to brood; to brood upon, or keep warm, as eggs, for the purpose of hatching. [1913 Webster]

2. To maintain (a living organism, such as microorganisms or a premature baby) under appropriate conditions, such as of temperature, humidity, or atmospheric composition, for growth; as, coliform bacteria grow best when incubated at 37[deg] C.. [PJC]

3. To develop gradually in some interior environment, until fully formed; as, the ideas for his book were incubating for two years before he began to write. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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