To incur is to get or receive — and usually it's something you brought upon yourself. If you don't pay your credit card bills on time, you'll likely incur lots of fees and some serious debt.

Generally, when you incur something, that something is undesirable. You can incur penalties, expenses, a parking ticket, or a friend’s wrath, for example. But it's pretty unlikely that you'd incur free tickets to the World Series. Frederick Douglass once famously said, “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence."

Definitions of incur
  1. verb
    make oneself subject to; bring upon oneself; become liable to
    “People who smoke incur a great danger to their health”
    see moresee less
    be affected by; be subjected to
    type of:
    cause to experience or suffer or make liable or vulnerable to
  2. verb
    receive a specified treatment (abstract)
    synonyms: find, get, obtain, receive
    acquire, get
    come into the possession of something concrete or abstract
    see moresee less
    ascertain or determine by measuring, computing or take a reading from a dial
    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
Word Family