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 Several crewmen of the Belgica, the first ship to overwinter in the Antarctic in 1897, went insane, driven mad by the monotony and isolation. National Geographic, "CREATE A FREE NAT GEO ACCOUNT TO CONTINUE READING," 26 May 2020 Like other social hive-making wasps and hornets, all workers will die with cold weather and the new queens will overwinter elsewhere, never reusing an old hive. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: On hornets that eat bark and replacing sick shade trees," 17 Oct. 2019 Best of all, the plants can be overwintered in the vegetable garden and used again, or incorporated into the garden. Margaret Roach, New York Times, "How (and Why) to Use Native Plants," 15 May 2020 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of overwinter


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1900, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overwinter

Time Traveler for overwinter

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for overwinter

Last Updated

14 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overwinter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overwinter. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overwinter


How to pronounce overwinter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of overwinter

: to spend or survive the winter

More from Merriam-Webster on overwinter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overwinter

Comments on overwinter

What made you want to look up overwinter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!