Definition of estivate in US English:

estivate

(also aestivate)

verb

[no object]Zoology
  • (of an animal, particularly an insect, fish, or amphibian) spend a hot or dry period in a prolonged state of torpor or dormancy.

    • ‘They aestivate during the dry season but come up to the surface to spawn after the first rains.’
    • ‘Sirens are known to aestivate when in habitats subject to drought.’
    • ‘When the water evaporates, the crocodiles estivate, or pass the summer in a kind of torpor.’
    • ‘Many crayfish flee the sun downward, tunneling after the subsiding water table until they reach moist mud in which to estivate.’
    • ‘Some crocodilians also estivate.’
    • ‘Other invertebrates survive dry periods by remaining in the pond substrate as eggs, pupae, or aestivating adults.’
    • ‘The larvae complete their feeding in less than two weeks and then estivate in cocoons, which they construct in the ground.’
    • ‘The toads must aestivate during the summer, burrowing down into the soil to survive the heat.’
    • ‘The majority of these species are considered frequent digesters, whereas eight species fast for extended periods, either as sit-and-wait foragers or while estivating.’
    • ‘They played a recording of a savanna fire to reed frogs that were peacefully estivating in Ivory Coast's Comoe National Park.’
    asleep, sleeping, slumbering, resting, reposing, drowsing, comatose, supine
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century (in the sense ‘pass the summer’): from Latin aestivat-, from aestivare ‘spend the summer’, from aestus ‘heat’.

Pronunciation

estivate

/ˈɛstəˌveɪt//ˈestəˌvāt/