To hibernate means to take a season-long snooze. When a bear crawls into a cave with a belly full of food ready to sleep through the cold winter, that bear is going to hibernate until spring.

Animals that sleep through the winter, like bears, squirrels, rodents and even some rattlesnakes, are said to hibernate through the winter. This word can also be used to describe any kind of inactive or dormant state, especially for the purpose of getting rest. If you’ve had a tough week and you’re planning to shut down and hole up in your house for the weekend, you could say you’re going to hibernate this weekend.

Definitions of hibernate

v be in an inactive or dormant state

Type of:
be inactive, refrain from acting

v sleep during winter

“Bears must eat a lot of food before they hibernate in their caves”
hole up
aestivate, estivate
sleep during summer
Type of:
catch some Z's, kip, log Z's, sleep, slumber
be asleep

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