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 hibernate (audio) \ noun
hibernator \ ˈhī-​bər-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce hibernate (audio) \ noun

Examples of hibernate in a Sentence

bears hibernating in their dens
Recent Examples on the Web However, Duke Lemur Center researchers wondered if captive lemurs could still hibernate after generations of captivity. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Apr. 2021 Like some birds, the monarch butterfly migrates annually for the winter in a unique ecological phenomenon that takes the tiny insect thousands of miles into Mexico to hibernate. Yadira Sanchez Olson, chicagotribune.com, 23 Apr. 2021 Now, a new report shows that Android 12 can indeed automatically hibernate unused apps to free up space. Chris Smith, BGR, 21 Apr. 2021 Researchers at Duke University's Lemur Center in North Carolina feared their captive lemurs had lost the ability to hibernate after four generations stopped doing so—until now. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Apr. 2021 Voles do not hibernate and are active throughout the year, mostly at dawn and dusk. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, 20 Mar. 2021 When the snow falls and the wind howls, the people of Quebec City don’t hibernate. Stephanie Rosenbloom, New York Times, 22 Dec. 2020 In a new study, scientists reveal their findings from a key investigation: did humans or their ancestors ever hibernate? Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 21 Dec. 2020 Anchorage teams plan to hibernate until mid-March and Fairbanks teams are considering playing outdoors in order to salvage their high school hockey seasons. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Dec. 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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hibernate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hibernate. Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for hibernate

hibernate

verb

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

hibernate

intransitive verb
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 hibernate (audio) \ noun
hibernator \ ˈhī-​bər-​ˌnāt-​ər How to pronounce hibernate (audio) \ noun

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