|—adj (often postpositive |
|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 |
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.
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]