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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
  • It is essential, in order to form a complete estimate of the advantages of official life, to view the incumbent at the in-coming of a hostile administration.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • incumbent = person who currently holds an official position
  • 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
  • Much and deservedly to my own discredit, therefore, and considerably to the detriment of my official conscience, they continued, during my incumbency, to creep about the wharves, and loiter up and down the Custom-House steps.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • incumbency = term in 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

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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