hibernate

verb
hi·​ber·​nate | \ ˈhī-bər-ˌnāt How to pronounce hibernate (audio) \
hibernated; hibernating

Definition of hibernate

intransitive verb

1 : to pass the winter in a torpid or resting state bears hibernating in their dens
2 : to be or become inactive or dormant let the computer hibernate

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Other Words from hibernate

hibernation \ ˌhī-​bər-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce hibernation (audio) \ noun
hibernator \ ˈhī-​bər-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce hibernator (audio) \ noun

Examples of hibernate in a Sentence

bears hibernating in their dens
Recent Examples on the Web Adults hibernate in plant debris and can have multiple generations. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "Pretty harlequin bug is the foe that is actually a gardener’s friend," 18 May 2020 Unlike native social bees that die off in the fall, honey bees hibernate during the winter inside their hives. Lila Westreich, The Conversation, "Spring signals female bees to lay the next generation of pollinators," 1 May 2020 Once their food is gone, the urchins, which can live for more than 50 years, lower their metabolism and essentially hibernate. Maurice Roper, National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 30 Apr. 2020 Stillness has muffled the streets in Sacramento as people hibernate in their homes and wait for the threat of COVID-19 to subside. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, "Living in a war zone: What it teaches about surviving a pandemic," 29 Apr. 2020 Your time will not be wasted by staying in and hibernating. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 19 Mar. 2020 But living things could preserve DNA far longer, says Davis, who has revived hibernating Hsal cells from salt deposits hundreds of millions of years old. Steve Nadis, Science | AAAS, "Hardy microbe’s DNA could be a time capsule for the ages," 18 Feb. 2020 If it's cloudy, the rest of winter will be mild and the groundhog will stop hibernating. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gordy the groundhog is technically hibernating. But zookeepers say he'll be ready for Groundhog Day.," 24 Jan. 2020 The [bats] are hibernating until the end of February and March. Tim Higgins, WSJ, "Tesla’s Post-China Challenge: Bats and Bombs in Germany," 21 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hibernate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hibernate

1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hibernate

Latin hibernatus, past participle of hibernare to pass the winter, from hibernus of winter; akin to Latin hiems winter, Greek cheimōn

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Time Traveler for hibernate

Time Traveler

The first known use of hibernate was in 1816

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Statistics for hibernate

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hibernate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hibernate. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for hibernate

hibernate

verb
How to pronounce hibernate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hibernate

of an animal : to spend the winter sleeping or resting

hibernate

verb
hi·​ber·​nate | \ ˈhī-bər-ˌnāt How to pronounce hibernate (audio) \
hibernated; hibernating

Kids Definition of hibernate

: to pass all or part of the winter in an inactive state in which the body temperature drops and breathing slows

Other Words from hibernate

hibernator \ -​ˌnāt-​ər \ noun
hi·​ber·​nate | \ ˈhī-bər-ˌnāt How to pronounce hibernate (audio) \
hibernated; hibernating

Medical Definition of hibernate

: to pass the winter in a torpid or resting state especially : to pass the winter in a torpid condition in which the body temperature drops to a little above freezing and metabolic activity is reduced nearly to zero — compare estivate

Other Words from hibernate

hibernation \ ˌhī-​bər-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce hibernation (audio) \ noun
hibernator \ ˈhī-​bər-​ˌnāt-​ər How to pronounce hibernator (audio) \ noun

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