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

Keep scrolling for more

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 The sharp increase can be attributed to a larger bear population and a wet spring that kept the bears hibernating longer than usual. USA TODAY, "Barbie, Tupac, scorpions and Red Vines: News from around our 50 states," 19 July 2019 Bengel said a dozen or so bats hibernate in the mine beginning in the late fall. Dennis Hohenberger, courant.com, "Bat Day At Old Newgate Prison Highlights Threat To Species," 12 Sep. 2019 Shedding is natural after your hair has been hibernating for awhile. Essence, "4 Steps To Restoring Your Hair After a Protective Style," 3 Sep. 2019 In order for that to happen, Sam Rayburn needs to rediscover an offense, an offense that has been hibernating for the last two years. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena ISD football programs knocking on door to victory milestone and the quest starts this weekend," 28 Aug. 2019 Delivered to your inbox on Wednesday and Friday Ground squirrels will hibernate in the colder days of winter, but the youngsters usually stay awake. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Uh oh. Ground squirrels have moved into a Fremont yard," 28 Aug. 2019 There's no better time to plan trips or plan family get-togethers, and those of us who tend to hibernate during the winter have the perfect excuse to bust out some cute clothes and hit the town. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "The 7 best deals you can get this Tuesday," 9 July 2019 Heavy rainfall last summer sent many crabs farther south to hibernate in search of optimal salinity levels, said Allison Colden, a Maryland fisheries scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, "Chesapeake Bay's blue crab population is doing well heading into the Fourth of July, report says," 3 July 2019 The young are born with fangs and venom and may even feed before hibernating for the winter. National Geographic, "Copperheads," 22 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hibernate

Statistics for hibernate

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for hibernate

The first known use of hibernate was in 1816

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on hibernate

What made you want to look up hibernate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to engage in dissolute behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!