- 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
- (of some mammals, reptiles, and amphibians) to pass the winter in a dormant condition with metabolism greatly slowed downCompare aestivate
- to cease from activity
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
Word Origin and History for semi-hibernation
1802, probably a back-formation from hibernation. Related: Hibernated; hibernating.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper