|1.||(of birds) to supply (eggs) with heat for their development, esp by sitting on them|
|2.||to cause (eggs, embryos, bacteria, etc) to develop, esp in an incubator or culture medium|
|3.||(intr) (of eggs, embryos, bacteria, etc) to develop in favourable conditions, esp in an incubator|
|4.||(intr) (of disease germs) to remain inactive in an animal or human before causing disease|
|5.||to develop or cause to develop gradually; foment or be fomented|
|[C18: from Latin incubāre to lie upon, hatch, from |
incubation in·cu·ba·tion (ĭn'kyə-bā'shən, ĭng'-)
The act of incubating or the state of being incubated.
The maintenance of controlled environmental conditions for the purpose of favoring the growth or development of microbial or tissue cultures.
The maintenance of an infant, especially a premature infant, in an environment of controlled temperature, humidity, and oxygen concentration in order to provide optimal conditions for growth and development.
The development of an infection from the time the pathogen enters the body until signs or symptoms first appear.
|incubation (ĭn'kyə-bā'shən) Pronunciation Key
the maintenance of uniform conditions of temperature and humidity to ensure the development of eggs or, under laboratory conditions, of certain experimental organisms, especially bacteria. The phrase incubation period designates the time from the commencement of incubation to hatching. It also is the time between the infection of an animal by a disease organism and the first appearance of symptoms.
Learn more about incubation with a free trial on Britannica.com.