over·​win·​ter | \ˌō-vər-ˈwin-tər \
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


The geese will overwinter in a warmer climate.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For instance, an early crop of leaf lettuce can be followed with a fast-maturing corn, and the corn followed by more greens or overwintered garlic—all within a single growing season. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "7 Secrets For A High-Yield Vegetable Garden, Even When You're Tight On Space," 19 Jan. 2017 Like many hibernating insects, overwintering mosquitoes depend on supercooling, a process by which an animal has the ability to rid its body fluids of impurities that would trigger the formation of ice. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Only female mosquitoes bother us (and other facts about the insects Alaskans love to hate)," 7 July 2018 Bumblebees, unlike honeybees, don’t overwinter in a hive. Washington Post, "Bumblebee blues: Pacific Northwest pollinator in trouble," 17 June 2018 Their winter catalog includes overwintering crops and varieties. Pam Peirce, SFChronicle.com, "How Bay Area gardeners can grow their own soup," 1 June 2018 Early spring is best because many insects overwinter in plants, and the native seed heads are a good food source for birds in the winter. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Micro prairies: No yard is too small to go with earth-friendly native plants," 25 May 2018 Spring tilling can kill overwintering pupae in the soil. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: How to control a leafminer attack," 24 May 2018 Stepanian and his colleagues were also startled to find increasing numbers of bats overwintering at Bracken Cave instead of heading back to their cold weather quarters in Mexico—a behavior not reported at all during the first survey in 1957. Inga Vesper, Scientific American, "Bats Are Migrating Earlier, and It Could Wreak Havoc on Farming," 2 Apr. 2018 The number of monarch butterflies that overwintered in forests in Mexico fell for a second straight year, experts say. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Monarch butterfly population dwindled for second straight year in Mexico," 6 Mar. 2018

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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Last Updated

2 Nov 2018

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

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English Language Learners Definition of overwinter

: to spend or survive the winter

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a knickknack or trinket

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