Definition of incipient in English:


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  • 1In an initial stage; beginning to happen or develop.

    ‘he could feel incipient anger building up’
    • ‘an incipient black eye’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The following day she had the opportunity to test her incipient beliefs when she dined with an aristocratic English woman.’
    • ‘No indications of tabulation; a short split in the wall either represents damage or is an incipient opening.’
    • ‘Instead, energy prices are a prime incipient consequence of global reflation.’
    • ‘For an important but limited beginning, Stover's text forms only an incipient explication of the African American mother tongue.’
    • ‘It seemed inevitable that something would be done at the beginning of this week to halt the incipient crash dynamics of the stock market.’
    • ‘Aries at 0 is the beginning of the zodiac, the first degree, an incipient point of something that breaks onto the world consciousness.’
    • ‘We ended up leaving at around midnight - a disgustingly early time and obvious evidence of our incipient senility.’
    • ‘Pletnev's new version does much to tame the score's incipient vulgarity without compromising its more grotesque elements.’
    • ‘It may be the knowingness not of incipient sexuality, as some commentators have argued, but rather of being regarded by a camera.’
    • ‘Although it is still too early to draw any final conclusions, we do have incipient evidence that the peer groups are making a difference.’
    • ‘The intentional note of grief, imagined, anticipatory, and incipient, is again an important element of that defense.’
    • ‘Her only worrying moment came when she felt incipient cramp in her right leg halfway through the test.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the French girl has had time to take in the holiday wear - the extra-large T-shirt, the shorts, the sandals with cotton socks, the incipient sunburn.’
    • ‘I don't appear to be completely incapacitated by incipient Alzheimer's (or is it Retired Raver's Mind-Rot?) after all, then.’
    • ‘Forget those fluffy-chinned policemen, the true sign of incipient old age these days is a trip to the Under-21 World Cup to witness rugby's gilded future.’
    • ‘This was the approach favoured by the group of countries with incipient pharmaceutical industries capable of producing generic copies of highly expensive drugs.’
    • ‘He hits on the tight connection in everything we're seeing between incompetence, state mendacity and incipient authoritarianism.’
    1. 1.1(of a person) developing into a specified type or role.
      ‘we seemed more like friends than incipient lovers’
      • ‘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, impending, growing, emerging, emergent, dawning
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/inˈsipēənt/ /ɪnˈsɪpiənt/


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