incubus

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See also: Incubus

English[edit]

Johann Heinrich Füssli, The Nightmare, 1790-1791 portrait of an incubus.

Etymology[edit]

From Late Latin incubus, from Latin incubō (nightmare, one who lies down on the sleeper), from incubāre (to lie upon, to hatch), from in- (on) + cubāre (to lie).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

incubus (plural incubi or incubuses)

  1. (mediaeval folklore) An evil spirit supposed to oppress people while asleep, especially to have sex with women as they sleep.
    Antonym: succubus
    Hypernyms: evil spirit, spirit
  2. A feeling of oppression during sleep, sleep paralysis; night terrors, a nightmare.
    Synonym: nightmare
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970:
      , vol. I, New York 2001, p.249:
      it increaseth fearful dreams, incubus, night-walking, crying out, and much unquietness  [] .
  3. (by extension) Any oppressive thing or person; a burden.
    • August 1935, Clark Ashton Smith, Weird Tales, "The Treader of the Dust":
      Again he felt the impulse of flight: but his body was a dry dead incubus that refused to obey his volition.
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, p. 132-3:
      Notions of civic virtue were at that moment changing, in ways which would make of Louis's alleged vices an incubus on the back of the monarchy.
  4. (entomology) One of various of parasitic insects, especially subfamily Aphidiinae.

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Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Late Latin incubus, from Latin incubo (nightmare, one who lies down on the sleeper), from incubare (to lie upon, to hatch).

Noun[edit]

incubus m (plural incubussen or incubi, diminutive incubusje n)

  1. An incubus, evil spirit
  2. A nightmare, horrible dream
  3. A burden, obsession, yoke

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Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From incubō¹ (I lie upon”, “I brood over”, “I am a burden to), perhaps via an alteration of the Classical incubō² (incubus”, “nightmare).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

incubus m (genitive incubī); second declension

  1. (Late Latin) the nightmare, incubus
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Augustine of Hippo to this entry?)
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Isidore of Seville to this entry?)

Declension[edit]

Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative incubus incubī
Genitive incubī incubōrum
Dative incubō incubīs
Accusative incubum incubōs
Ablative incubō incubīs
Vocative incube incubī

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