|1.||Compare aestivate (of some mammals, reptiles, and amphibians) to pass the winter in a dormant condition with metabolism greatly slowed down|
|2.||to cease from activity|
|[C19: from Latin hībernāre to spend the winter, from hībernus of winter, from hiems winter]|
An inactive state resembling deep sleep in which certain animals living in cold climates pass the winter. In hibernation, the body temperature is lowered and breathing and heart rates slow down. Hibernation protects the animal from cold and reduces the need for food during the season when food is scarce. Compare estivation.
Passing the winter in a sleeping or inactive condition. Bears, ground squirrels, woodchucks, and several other kinds of animals hibernate.