1640s (transitive), "to brood upon, watch jealously" (figurative); 1721 in literal sense "to sit on (eggs) to hatch them," from Latin incubatus, past participle of incubare "to lie in or upon," also in the figurative sense "brood" (see incubation). Intransitive sense "to sit upon eggs" is from 1755. Related: Incubated; incubating.
updated on November 09, 2015
Dictionary entries near incubate