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[in-sip-ee-uh nt] /ɪnˈsɪp i ənt/
beginning to exist or appear; in an initial stage:
an incipient cold.
Origin of incipient
1580-90; < Latin incipient- (stem of incipiēns, present participle of incipere to take in hand, begin), equivalent to in- in-2 + -cipi- (combining form of capi- take) + -ent- -ent
Related forms
incipiently, adverb
Can be confused
incipient, insipid, insipient.
beginning, nascent, developing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for incipient
  • Cell phones are a surrogate telecom infrastructure for the nation's incipient economy.
  • But a number of specific themes have punctuated their discourse, lending it an incipient plausibility and coherence.
  • It need not be supposed that all varieties or incipient species attain the rank of species.
  • The symptom in the true neuroses is frequently the nucleus and incipient stage of development of the psychoneurotic symptom.
  • These economic and demographic changes have fueled the incipient debate over immigration policy.
  • From a detail of political etiquette, he could infer the incipient mentality of the totalitarian.
  • He has dark eyes, incipient jowls, and a manner that can change in a moment from expansively genial to theatrically menacing.
  • It seems there were probably many incipient domestication events across the shared wolf human range.
  • These extra calories can make all the difference to an incipient fire ant colony.
  • If there really was a connection between atmospheric phenomena and incipient earthquakes, surely there would be evidence for it.
British Dictionary definitions for incipient


just starting to be or happen; beginning
Derived Forms
incipience, incipiency, noun
incipiently, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin incipiēns, 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 incipient

1660s, from Latin incipientem (nominative incipiens), present participle of incipere "begin, take up," from in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + -cipere, comb. form of capere "to take" (see capable).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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