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An individual who is in current possession of a particular office and who is legally authorized to discharge the duties of that office.


noun bureaucrat, commissioner, functionary, holder of an office, job holder, minister, occupant of an office, officebearer, officeholder, officer, official, person in authority
Associated concepts: de facto incumbent, incumbent officer
See also: binding, forcible, necessary

INCUMBENT, eccles. law. A clerk resident on his benefice with cure; he is so called because he does, or ought to, bend the whole of his studies to his duties. In common parlance, it signifies one who is in the possession of an office, as, the present incumbent.

References in periodicals archive ?
Fourth Circuit Public Defender, where incumbent Matt Shirk faces William Charles "Chuck" Fletcher.
Democrat incumbent Paul Holvey was leading challenger Simone Gordon, 72 percent to 28 for House District 8.
In Ohio's first congressional district, Democrat John Cranley, a Cincinnati city council member who helped pass a measure to protect gays from discrimination, is running a tight race against antigay Republican incumbent Steve Chabot.
Of the last five incumbent presidents booted from office--Bush I, Carter, Ford, Herbert Hoover, and William Howard Taft--only one was able to garner over 200 electoral votes, and three of these defeated incumbents didn't even cross the 100 electoral-vote threshold:
Political veterans acknowledge the objection process has long been the easiest way for incumbents to win re-election.
Rather than attempting to distinguish predatory practices from legal competitive practices, in this article we determine the entrant characteristics and strategies, incumbent characteristics, and market characteristics that govern incumbent carrier reactions, be they predatory or legal.
OLS estimation confirms the conventional view that incumbent spending has a lower marginal effect than challenger spending, while TSLS estimation shows the marginal effects of spending by challenger and incumbent to be both statistically equivalent and substantively important.
This helps explain why over 90 percent of incumbents have won reelection in every year since 1974.
Tenure provides voters with knowledge of the incumbent's position and the incumbent with political capital.
In the race for a three-year Board of Selectman seat, incumbent Brian Patacchiola announced last week he would not be seeking re-election (see story, this page).