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From Latin incubationem, from incubare.



incubation (countable and uncountable, plural incubations)

  1. Sitting on eggs for the purpose of hatching young; a brooding on, or keeping warm, to develop the life within, by any process.
  2. (pathology) The development of a disease from its causes, or the period of such development.
  3. (chemistry) A period of little reaction which is followed by more rapid reaction.
  4. (psychology) One of the four proposed stages of creativity (preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification): the unconscious recombination of thought elements that were stimulated through conscious work at one point in time, resulting in novel ideas at a later point.
  5. Sleeping in a temple or other holy place in order to have oracular dreams.
    • 1978, Benjamin Walker, Encyclopedia of Metaphysical Medicine, Routledge 1978, p. 144:
      Incubation in the vicinity of burial places, cremation grounds, holy wells and sacred streams was common. The ancient Hebrews visited vaults or slept among tombs to get meaningful dreams.

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incubation f (plural incubations)

  1. incubation