incubator

[in-kyuh-bey-ter, ing-]
noun
1.
an apparatus in which eggs are hatched artificially.
2.
an enclosed apparatus in which prematurely born infants are kept in controlled conditions, as of temperature, for protection and care.
3.
an apparatus in which media inoculated with microorganisms are cultivated at a constant temperature.
4.
a person or thing that incubates.

Origin:
1855–60; < Late Latin: literally, one who lies in or upon (something). See incubate, -tor

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World English Dictionary
incubator (ˈɪnkjʊˌbeɪtə)
 
n
1.  med an enclosed transparent boxlike apparatus for housing prematurely born babies under optimum conditions until they are strong enough to survive in the normal environment
2.  a container kept at a constant temperature in which birds' eggs can be artificially hatched or bacterial cultures grown
3.  a person, animal, or thing that incubates
4.  a commercial property, divided into small work units, which provides equipment and support to new businesses

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

incubator in·cu·ba·tor (ĭn'kyə-bā'tər, ĭng'-)
n.

  1. An apparatus in which environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity, can be controlled, often used for growing bacterial cultures, hatching eggs artificially, or providing suitable conditions for a chemical or biological reaction.

  2. An apparatus for maintaining an infant, especially a premature infant, in an environment of controlled temperature, humidity, and oxygen concentration.

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
Science Dictionary
incubator   (ĭn'kyə-bā'tər)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. An apparatus in which environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity, can be controlled, often used for growing bacterial cultures, hatching eggs artificially, or providing suitable conditions for a chemical or biological reaction.

  2. An apparatus for maintaining an infant, especially one that is ill or born before the usual gestation period, in an environment of controlled temperature, humidity, and oxygen concentration.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

incubator definition


A specialized crib used in caring for infants, in which the temperature and oxygen content of the air can be controlled. Often, babies who are born prematurely will be placed in an incubator until they have become strong enough to be housed in a regular crib.

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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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

incubator

an insulated enclosure in which temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions can be regulated at levels optimal for growth, hatching, or reproduction. There are three principal kinds of incubators: poultry incubators, infant incubators, and bacteriological incubators.

Learn more about incubator with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The new bladder is nurtured in an incubator that mimics body conditions,
  allowing the cells to grow and knit together.
Graduate school is gaining a reputation as an incubator for anxiety and
  depression.
Regardless of what it might do for the economy, it could prove a useful
  incubator of political loyalties.
After a few years of work in such an incubator, our students will be completely
  different people with unique experiences.
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