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over·​win·​ter ˌō-vər-ˈwin-tər How to pronounce overwinter (audio)
overwintered; overwintering; overwinters

intransitive verb

: to last through or pass the winter


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: occurring during the period spanning the winter

Examples of overwinter in a Sentence

Verb The geese will overwinter in a warmer climate.
Recent Examples on the Web
Mourning cloak butterflies are one of the first species to be seen in woodlands, overwintering as adults. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 21 Mar. 2024 The chard overwintered under row cover (fabric coverings) along with other greens. Bon Appétit, 3 May 2024 Below Zone 9, it is either grown as an annual or planted in containers and overwintered indoors. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Apr. 2024 Since these plants produce flowers on the tips of the current season’s growth, there are no overwintering flower buds to worry about. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 15 Mar. 2024 In 2020, the overwintering population dipped to just 2,000 butterflies—a record low. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Feb. 2024 The disease spores can also overwinter on the stems. Chris McKeown, The Enquirer, 2 Mar. 2024 Gardeners in cooler and wet climates should consider growing in a container to overwinter in a sheltered spot and to better manage moisture levels. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 1 Mar. 2024 Store Well Moist, ventilated storage is key to overwintering dahlia tubers. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 July 2023
No overwinter fires have been recorded in the forests of Quebec, the eastern province that sent smoke billowing into the United States and at one point across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. Ian Austen, New York Times, 4 Mar. 2024 Kale also may surprise you and overwinter—that is, survive winter to appear again next spring! Arricca Elin Sansone, House Beautiful, 4 Aug. 2023 The hot, dry conditions that lead to big wildfire seasons also support overwinter fires. Rachel Berkowitz, Scientific American, 28 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overwinter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1900, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overwinter was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near overwinter

Cite this Entry

“Overwinter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overwinter. Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to spend or survive the winter
the butterfly overwinters in Mexico
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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