Etymology
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incubation (n.)

1610s, "a brooding," from Latin incubationem (nominative incubatio) "a laying upon eggs," noun of action from past participle stem of incubare "to hatch," literally "to lie on, rest on," from in- "on" (from PIE root *en "in") + cubare "to lie" (see cubicle). The literal sense of "sitting on eggs to hatch them" in English is first recorded 1640s.

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Definitions of incubation

incubation (n.)
maintaining something at the most favorable temperature for its development;
incubation (n.)
(pathology) the phase in the development of an infection between the time a pathogen enters the body and the time the first symptoms appear;
incubation (n.)
sitting on eggs so as to hatch them by the warmth of the body;
Synonyms: brooding
From wordnet.princeton.edu