incubation (n.) Look up incubation at
1610s, "a brooding," from Latin incubationem (nominative incubatio) "a laying upon eggs," noun of action from past participle stem of incubare "to hatch," literally "to lie on, rest on," from in- "on" (see in- (2)) + cubare "to lie" (see cubicle). The literal sense of "sitting on eggs to hatch them" in English is first recorded 1640s.