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[in-sept] /ɪnˈsɛpt/
verb (used with object)
to take in; ingest.
Origin of incept
1560-70; < Latin inceptus past participle of incipere to begin, undertake, equivalent to in- in-2 + cep- (combining form of cap- take; see captive) + -tus past participle suffix; sense “take in” by literal translation of prefix and base
Related forms
inceptor, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for incept
Historical Examples
  • In Jan. 1527/8, he obtained grace to incept after fourteen years of study.

    The Grey Friars in Oxford Andrew G. Little
  • In Nov. 1516, he obtained grace to incept, and asked for a reduction of his composition by one-half, which was probably granted.

    The Grey Friars in Oxford Andrew G. Little
  • Those about to incept first read their lectures, then opened a discussion on certain questions.

    The Grey Friars in Oxford Andrew G. Little
  • The meaning of this is not clear; perhaps he had already gone round once and failed to incept at the ensuing Congregation.

    The Grey Friars in Oxford Andrew G. Little
  • In 1526 he supplicated that four years study after the degree of Bachelor might entitle him to incept.

    The Grey Friars in Oxford Andrew G. Little
British Dictionary definitions for incept


verb (transitive)
(of organisms) to ingest (food)
(Brit) (formerly) to take a master's or doctor's degree at a university
(botany) a rudimentary organ
Derived Forms
inceptor, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Latin inceptus begun, attempted, from incipere to begin, take in hand, from in-² + capere to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for incept

1560s, from Latin inceptus, past participle of incipere "to begin" (see inception). Related: Incepted.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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