verb (used without object)
to pass, spend, or survive the winter: to overwinter on the Riviera.

1890–95; over- + winter; probably translation of Norwegian overvintre

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World English Dictionary
overwinter (ˌəʊvəˈwɪntə)
1.  (intr) to spend winter (in or at a particular place)
2.  (tr) to keep (animals or plants) alive through the winter
3.  (intr) (of an animal or plant) to remain alive throughout the winter

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

overwintering o·ver·win·ter·ing (ō'vər-wĭn'tər-ĭng)
The persistence of an infectious agent in its vector for an extended period, as in the cooler winter months, during which the vector has no opportunity to be reinfected or to infect another host.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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