incumbent on


holding an indicated position, role, office, etc., currently: the incumbent officers of the club.
obligatory (often followed by on or upon ): a duty incumbent upon me.
Archaic. resting, lying, leaning, or pressing on something: incumbent upon the cool grass.
the holder of an office: The incumbent was challenged by a fusion candidate.
British. a person who holds an ecclesiastical benefice.

1375–1425; late Middle English (noun) < Latin incumbent- (stem of incumbēns present participle of incumbere to lie or lean upon, equivalent to in- in-2 + cumb- (nasalized variant of cub- sit, lie; see incubus) + -ent- -ent

incumbently, adverb
anti-incumbent, adjective, noun
nonincumbent, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
incumbent (ɪnˈkʌmbənt)
adj (often postpositive and foll by on or upon and an infinitive) (usually postpositive and foll by on)
1.  formal morally binding or necessary; obligatory: it is incumbent on me to attend
2.  resting or lying (on)
3.  a person who holds an office, esp a clergyman holding a benefice
[C16: from Latin incumbere to lie upon, devote one's attention to, from in-² + -cumbere, related to Latin cubāre to lie down]

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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Word Origin & History

c.1410, from M.L. incumbentem (nom. incumbens) "holder of a church position," from prp. of incumbere "to obtain or possess," from L. incumbere "recline on, apply oneself to," from in- "on" + -combere "lie down," related to cubare "lie." Extended to holders of any office from 1672. As an adj., first recorded
1567, in relation to duties or obligations; the lit., physical sense is rare in Eng. and first attested 1624.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
incumbent [(in-kum-buhnt)]

One who holds a public office. By virtue of their experience in office, their exposure to the public, and their ability to raise campaign funds, incumbents usually have a significant advantage over opponents if they choose to run for reelection.

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

incumbent on

Also, incumbent upon. Imposed as an obligation or duty on, obligatory for. For example, He felt it was incumbent on us all to help the homeless. [Mid-1500s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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