Incubus

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Incubus

Origin: L, the nightmare. Cf. Incubate.

1. A demon; a fiend; a lascivious spirit, supposed to have sexual intercourse with women by night. The devils who appeared in the female form were generally called succubi; those who appeared like men incubi, though this distinction was not always preserved. (Lecky)

2. (Science: medicine) The nightmare. See nightmare. Such as are troubled with incubus, or witch-ridden, as we call it. (Burton)

3. Any oppressive encumbrance or burden; anything that prevents the free use of the faculties. Debt and usury is the incubus which weighs most heavily on the agricultural resources of turkey. (j. L. Farley)