intr.v. hi·ber·nat·ed, hi·ber·nat·ing, hi·ber·nates
1. To be in a dormant or torpid state during a cold period, especially during the winter.
2. To be in an inactive or dormant state or period: "In Lawrenceville people hibernated and life passed them by" (Jacqueline Susann).
[Latin hībernāre, hībernāt-, to winter, from hībernus, relating to winter; see ghei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.