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 When the snow falls and the wind howls, the people of Quebec City don’t hibernate. Stephanie Rosenbloom, New York Times, "How to Pretend You’re in Quebec City Tonight," 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, "Humans Used to Be Able to Hibernate, Evidence Suggests," 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, "High school hockey will look different this school year as Anchorage looks to spring and Fairbanks considers heading outdoors," 11 Dec. 2020 In anticipation of tough times looming ahead, many San Francisco restaurateurs may hibernate for the winter. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "A total restaurant apocalypse is coming. But it’s not inevitable," 7 Dec. 2020 Eastern gray squirrels do not hibernate and many of us see them daily during the months of winter, except during storms or intense cold. Jim Gilbert Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Eating and storing food are a squirrel's life in late autumn," 3 Dec. 2020 Yet those who live for Astros schadenfreude may want to hibernate until 2021. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "MLB playoffs: Which teams have the clearest path to a title? Ranking contenders 1-8," 5 Oct. 2020 The Bulldog spirit does not hibernate in times of stress and, yes, even fear. cleveland, "Volunteerism freshens room and spirits: Olmsted Dates and Data," 30 Aug. 2020 Asian giant hornets typically hibernate during the winter and emerge again in April, and the researchers spent last month setting traps to locate and eradicate any hives. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "No, Americans Do Not Need to Panic About ‘Murder Hornets’," 5 May 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

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hibernate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hibernate. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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

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Comments on hibernate

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