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.

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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Example sentences from the Web for hibernation

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.