incubation period

noun Pathology.
the period between infection and the appearance of signs of a disease.

1875–80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
incubation period
med Sometimes shortened to: incubation the time between exposure to an infectious disease and the appearance of the first signs or symptoms

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

incubation period n.

  1. See latent period.

  2. See incubative stage.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

incubation period definition

The amount of time it takes for symptoms of a disease to appear after an individual is infected (see infection) with the pathogen that causes the disease.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Nor are scientists aware of how long the incubation period lasts.
In early spring, though no one had seen any eggs, the birds were exhibiting
  behavior consistent with the incubation period.
Forty-three days is the longest known incubation period.
In both the actual insect world and the fashion icon world, the butterfly seems
  to have a short incubation period.
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