a. In the Northern Hemisphere, usually the coldest season of the year, occurring between autumn and spring and including the months of December, January, and February. In the Southern Hemisphere austral winter includes June, July, and August.
b. The season extending from the winter solstice to the vernal equinox.
2. A year as expressed through the recurrence of the winter season.
3. A period of time characterized by coldness, misery, barrenness, or death.
1. Relating to or occurring in winter: winter blizzards; winter attire.
2. Grown during the season of winter: winter herbs.
v. win·tered, win·ter·ing, win·ters
1. To spend the winter: wintered in Arizona.
2. To feed in winter. Used with on: deer wintering on cedar bark.
To lodge, keep, or care for during the winter: wintering the sheep in the stable.
[Middle English, from Old English; see wed-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.