hibernate

[ hi-ber-neyt ]
/ ˈhɪ bərˌneɪt /

verb (used without object), hi·ber·nat·ed, hi·ber·nat·ing.

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.

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Origin of hibernate

First recorded in 1795–1805, hibernate is from the Latin word hībernātus (past participle of hībernāre to spend the winter). See hibernal, -ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM hibernate

hi·ber·na·tion, nounhi·ber·na·tor, nounpost·hi·ber·na·tion, adjectivesem·i·hi·ber·na·tion, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH hibernate

estivate hibernate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for hibernation

British Dictionary definitions for hibernation

hibernate
/ (ˈhaɪbəˌneɪt) /

verb (intr)

(of some mammals, reptiles, and amphibians) to pass the winter in a dormant condition with metabolism greatly slowed downCompare aestivate
to cease from activity

Derived forms of hibernate

hibernation, nounhibernator, noun

Word Origin for hibernate

C19: from Latin hībernāre to spend the winter, from hībernus of winter, from hiems winter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for hibernation

hibernation
[ hī′bər-nāshən ]

An inactive state resembling deep sleep in which certain animals living in cold climates pass the winter. In hibernation, the body temperature is lowered and breathing and heart rates slow down. Hibernation protects the animal from cold and reduces the need for food during the season when food is scarce. Compare estivation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for hibernation

hibernation

Passing the winter in a sleeping or inactive condition. Bears, ground squirrels, woodchucks, and several other kinds of animals hibernate.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.