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used in a sentence
2 meanings
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1  —as in:
the incumbent governor
Definition the person who currently holds an official position
  • She had to defeat an incumbent governor to win.
incumbent = then holding office
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • [Capitalism] easily degenerates into a system of the incumbents, by the incumbents for the incumbents.
    Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales  --  Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists
  • Tom listened with some shame and some sorrow; but escaping as quickly as possible, could soon with cheerful selfishness reflect, firstly, that he had not been half so much in debt as some of his friends; secondly, that his father had made a most tiresome piece of work of it; and, thirdly, that the future incumbent, whoever he might be, would, in all probability, die very soon.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • incumbent = person who currently holds an official position
  • Then, when once an incumbent of this post, he would marry Mademoiselle de Montalais.
    Dumas, Alexandre  --  Ten Years Later
  • As incumbent of that office, he stumbled up-stairs late at night, as his father had done before him.
    Crane, Stephen  --  Maggie: A Girl of the Streets
  • But incumbents generally have the upper hand, so no worries.
    Ellen Hopkins  --  Identical
  • When Faye came down from Sacramento and opened her house there was a flurry of animosity from the two incumbents.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • The whole were grouped in a manner that aped the streets of a city, and were evidently so arranged by the directions of one who looked to the wants of posterity rather than to the convenience of the present incumbents.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
  • Incumbents and front-runners obviously have more cash, but they only spend a lot of it when they stand a legitimate chance of losing; otherwise, why dip into a war chest that might be more useful later on, when a more formidable opponent appears?
    Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner  --  Freakonomics
  • Barbarians and urbanites, incumbents and rebels, masters and slaves — all forget their differences and make common cause.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Blind Assassin

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
2  —as in:
incumbent upon her to
Definition necessary (for someone) as a duty or responsibility
  • It's incumbent upon her to clean up the mess she created.
incumbent = necessary as a responsibility
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • It is incumbent on them to pay their own debts.
  • incumbent = necessary as a responsibility
  • But before doing so, there were a few words that he felt it incumbent upon him to say.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • incumbent = required
  • Lorry felt it incumbent on him to speak a word or two of reassurance.
    Dickens, Charles  --  A Tale Of Two Cities
  • Heyward felt it had now become incumbent on him to act.
    Cooper, James Fenimore  --  The Last of The Mohicans
  • He nodded gravely, and added with awful emphasis - "I thought it incumbent upon me to do so."
    Bronte, Anne  --  The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • Of course, while we drank our beer, which I had paid for, it was incumbent on him to listen to me and to talk to me.
    London, Jack  --  John Barleycorn
  • But it was incumbent upon her to go on now.
    Hardy, Thomas  --  Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman
  • There was a moment's pause, and then Archer felt it incumbent on him to say: "All right."
    Wharton, Edith  --  The Age of Innocence
  • She ought to cry; she felt it incumbent upon her.
    London, Jack  --  The Game

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
Less commonly:
Much more rarely (and generally archaically) "incumbent" can also mean resting, leaning, or bent downward. For example:
  • "two incumbent figures, gracefully leaning upon it"
  • "the incumbent geological formation"
  • "the incumbent load"
  • "the bird's incumbent toe"
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