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

Definition of overwinter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to last through or pass the winter



Definition of overwinter (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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: Verb Brower and his colleagues had reported that within that time span, overwintering monarch populations had fallen steeply. Gabriel Popkin, Scientific American, "What Is Really Killing Monarch Butterflies?," 1 Mar. 2020 In the late 1970s, after a long search, biologists discovered the tiny mountainside forests where monarchs were overwintering in Mexico. Gabriel Popkin, Scientific American, "What Is Really Killing Monarch Butterflies?," 1 Mar. 2020 The population of monarch butterflies overwintering in California remains at critically low levels for a second straight year, an environmental group announced Thursday. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Monarch butterfly population at critically low levels in California," 24 Jan. 2020 Xerces Society officials are urging governments to identify butterfly habitat and adopt plans to protect monarch overwintering sites from logging or inappropriate trimming. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Slim hope for monarch butterflies — population holds steady this season," 23 Jan. 2020 The biggest benefit of Calamondin oranges (X Citrofortunella microcarpa), though, is that this is the only citrus that can be overwintered indoors. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "8 Fruit Trees You Can Grow Right on Your Porch," 24 July 2018 Garden centers traditionally mark down their off-season inventories rather than muscle them indoors for overwintering protection. Washington Post, "Fall’s the best time to harvest discounts at garden centers," 15 Oct. 2019 Many beneficial insects overwinter attached to old vegetation, such as stalks and fallen leaves. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: Leave the butterfly chrysalis and the straw," 7 Nov. 2019 Black spot, a prevalent fungal disease of roses will overwinter on rose foliage, so the best practice is to remove as much of the old foliage as possible before mounding. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Putting your roses to bed for winter doesn’t necessarily mean adding a mound of compost," 23 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overwinter.' 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 overwinter


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1900, in the meaning defined above

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

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Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overwinter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overwinter. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce overwinter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of overwinter

: to spend or survive the winter

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