Hibernation is a type of deep sleep some animals (like bears) go into during winter. Hibernation is like a long nap.

Have you ever wanted to skip from fall to spring? Some animals do just that by hibernating, which is a sleep-like state during which their metabolism slows and they conserve energy. Animals who hibernate do nothing: hibernation is a time of rest and inactivity, almost like a coma. People also use this word for other types of inactivity. For example, you could talk about the hibernation of an athlete who has taken a year off from competition.

Definitions of hibernation

n the torpid or resting state in which some animals pass the winter

Type of:
torpidity, torpor
a state of motor and mental inactivity with a partial suspension of sensibility

n cessation from or slowing of activity during the winter; especially slowing of metabolism in some animals

Type of:
dormancy, quiescence, quiescency
a state of quiet (but possibly temporary) inaction

n the act of retiring into inactivity

“he emerged from his hibernation to make his first appearance in several years”
Type of:
withdrawal from your position or occupation

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.