Definition of incipient in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈsipēənt/


1In an initial stage; beginning to happen or develop: he could feel incipient anger building up an incipient black eye
More example sentences
  • At least at the beginning of the incipient movement, conservatives and libertarians could find a common enemy in the growth of the New Deal welfare state.
  • Indo-American relations have developed genuine, if incipient, contents.
  • Whether closer follow-up of cases of tuberculosis leads to earlier detection of incipient toxicity or other factors are at work is unclear.
1.1(Of a person) developing into a specified type or role: we seemed more like friends than incipient lovers
More example sentences
  • Martha's experiences as both a normalista and a paraprofessional enhanced her development as an incipient teacher.
  • I am assuming the groomsman is an incipient politician - maybe mayor number three?
  • Come about 1914, we find ‘shower’ being applied to a heap of gifts ‘showered’ all at once on a lucky bride or incipient mother, usually at a females-only social event.
developing, growing, emerging, emergent, dawning, just beginning, inceptive, initial, inchoate;
nascent, embryonic, fledgling, in its infancy, germinal



Pronunciation: /inˈsipēəns/
Example sentences
  • My own conclusion after a bit of homework is that the threat to the civil liberties of most Americans is still mainly a matter of incipience.
  • His vision is informed by the hope and joy, as well as the melancholia and uncertainty, of that period of incipience.
  • But also, from its incipience around 1968, liberation theology has been surrounded by controversy because of its often-unabashed association with Marxist analysis.


Example sentences
  • Early in the period of the Revolution there was, as just noted, a feeble incipiency of a Union in the Articles of Confederation, proposed in 1777 and ratified in March, 1781.
  • The Packers and Stockyards Act prohibits undue price preferences and grants USDA broad authority to stop unfair trade practices in their incipiency.
  • The ‘introgression’ of genes into each of them from one or more of the others prevented their definite fission and kept them in a state of lasting incipiency.


Example sentences
  • Until I remembered that I was exhausted and incipiently ill, and pretty much the opposite of party.
  • For the first time, she recognized the symptoms of infatuation which she had felt incipiently as a child, as a girl in her early teens, and later as a young woman.
  • This meant that he modelled his operas on Venetian traditions which were ‘up to the minute’ in allowing for incipiently democratic impulses, thereby admitting that man's attempts to play God were doomed to failure.


Late 16th century (as a noun denoting a beginner): from Latin incipient- 'undertaking, beginning', from the verb incipere, from in- 'into, toward' + capere 'take'.

Words that rhyme with incipient

impercipient, percipient, recipient

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·cip·i·ent

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