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


The geese will overwinter in a warmer climate.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Few hives overwinter in Alaska due to the cold, but some people keep bees in their basements. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Bee kind to Alaska’s pollinators (but it’s OK to smack a wasp)," 26 June 2019 At the end of the season, clean up leaf debris to make sure diseases and pests don’t overwinter. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "Annuals vs. Perennials: Everything You Need to Know," 1 Feb. 2019 In February, Hart likes to prepare cabbage that has been overwintering. Catherine M. Allchin, The Seattle Times, "Meals at Stowel Lake Farm celebrate its organic vegetable garden, and its intergenerational community," 5 Feb. 2019 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

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

13 Jul 2019

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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 small bunch of flowers

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