Word of the Day

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


\ES-tuh-veyt\ , verb;
To spend the summer, as at a specific place or in a certain activity.
In zoology, to spend a hot, dry season in an inactive, dormant state, as certain reptiles, snails, insects, and small mammals.
So as the people we knew back East die, or are institutionalized, or take themselves off to Tucson or Sarasota or Santa Barbara to estivate their last years away as we are doing here, our contacts here shrink, too.
-- Wallace Stegner, Wallace Earle Stegner, The spectator bird
There she was, four and a half feet tall, too cute for words, mugging shamelessly as she did whenever I hauled out my Kodak during that summer before the war, in the aftermath of my mother's death, when I was sent to estivate with my nice aunt and her nice state cop husband in a tiny Carolina town just over the border.
-- William Styron, James L. W. West, The suicide run: five tales of the Marine Corps
Estivate derives from the Latin aestivare, with aestivus meaning "relating to the summer."
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