One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of an animal, particularly an insect, fish, or amphibian) spend a hot or dry period in a prolonged state of torpor or dormancy.
asleep, sleeping, slumbering, resting, reposing, drowsing, comatose, supineView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘Many crayfish flee the sun downward, tunneling after the subsiding water table until they reach moist mud in which to estivate.’
- ‘Sirens are known to aestivate when in habitats subject to drought.’
- ‘Some crocodilians also estivate.’
- ‘The toads must aestivate during the summer, burrowing down into the soil to survive the heat.’
- ‘The larvae complete their feeding in less than two weeks and then estivate in cocoons, which they construct in the ground.’
- ‘They played a recording of a savanna fire to reed frogs that were peacefully estivating in Ivory Coast's Comoe National Park.’
- ‘Other invertebrates survive dry periods by remaining in the pond substrate as eggs, pupae, or aestivating adults.’
- ‘They aestivate during the dry season but come up to the surface to spawn after the first rains.’
- ‘When the water evaporates, the crocodiles estivate, or pass the summer in a kind of torpor.’
Early 17th century (in the sense ‘pass the summer’): from Latin aestivat-, from aestivare ‘spend the summer’, from aestus ‘heat’.
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