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Meaning of incubate

in•cu•bate

Pronunciation: (in'kyu-bāt", ing'-), [key]
— v., -bat•ed, -bat•ing.
—v.t.
  1. to sit upon (eggs) for the purpose of hatching.
  2. to hatch (eggs), as by sitting upon them or by artificial heat.
  3. to maintain at a favorable temperature and in other conditions promoting development, as cultures of bacteria or prematurely born infants.
  4. to develop or produce as if by hatching; give form to: His brain was incubating schemes for raising money.
—v.i.
  1. to sit upon eggs.
  2. to undergo incubation.
  3. to develop; grow; take form: A plan was slowly incubating in her mind.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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