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[es-tuh-veyt] /ˈɛs təˌveɪt/
verb (used without object), estivated, estivating.
to spend the summer, as at a specific place or in a certain activity.
Zoology. to spend a hot, dry season in an inactive, dormant state, as certain reptiles, snails, insects, and small mammals.
Compare hibernate.
1620-30; < Latin aestīvātus, past participle of aestīvāre to reside during the summer (akin to aestīvus of or relating to summer); see -ate1
Related forms
estivator, noun
Can be confused
estivate, hibernate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for estivate
  • Their goal is to find root systems or small mammal burrows in which to estivate over the hot summer.
  • By mid to late summer, squirrels return to their burrows to estivate and eventually hibernate.
  • Since snails lose weight when they estivate in summer, some growers do not stock pens by weight but by count.
  • They estivate during the hot weather and hibernate during the cold weather.
British Dictionary definitions for estivate


/ˈiːstɪˌveɪt; ˈɛs-/
verb (intransitive)
to pass the summer
(of animals such as the lungfish) to pass the summer or dry season in a dormant condition Compare hibernate
Derived Forms
aestivator, (US) estivator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin aestīvātus, from aestīvāre to stay during the summer, from aestās summer


/ˈiːstɪˌveɪt; ˈɛs-/
(intransitive) the usual US spelling of aestivate
Derived Forms
estivator, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for estivate

"to spend the summer," mid-17c., from Latin aestivatus, past participle of aestivare "to spend the summer," from aestus "heat," aestas "summer," literally "the hot season," from Proto-Italic *aissat-, from PIE *aidh- "to burn" (see edifice). Related: Estivated; estivating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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