- Zoology. to spend the winter in close quarters in a dormant condition, as bears and certain other animals.Compare estivate.
- to withdraw or be in seclusion; retire.
- to winter in a place with a milder climate: Each winter finds us hibernating in Florida.
Origin of hibernate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hibernate
After these well-meaning moments they are left alone to hibernate with their own devastation.Homefront Veterans: Skiing With Wounded Warriors
John Kael Weston
February 17, 2014
Simply a hole to hibernate in and to sleep and eat in in summer.Other Main-Travelled Roads
Apparently he does not hibernate, for on sunny days he may be seen the year round.The Rocky Mountain Wonderland
Enos A. Mills
And besides, it is fairly certain that they, like most others of their kind, hibernate.The Shadow Passes
Roy J. Snell
It does not hibernate, and may be seen in winter pursuing its prey beneath the ice.
The Squirrel does not hibernate, as it is said by the older writers to do.
- (of some mammals, reptiles, and amphibians) to pass the winter in a dormant condition with metabolism greatly slowed downCompare aestivate
- to cease from activity
C19: from Latin hībernāre to spend the winter, from hībernus of winter, from hiems winter
Word Origin and History for hibernate
1802, probably a back-formation from hibernation. Related: Hibernated; hibernating.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper