1. To survive, endure, or tolerate the winter climate. Come spring, all the various bugs and critters that have been wintering over in the soil start to emerge into the warm sunshine. Some warm-blooded animals, such as bears, winter over by putting on a huge amount of weight and hibernating the whole time.
2. To pass or endure the winter months in or at some other location. My parents summer in New Hampshire and winter over in Florida. My whole family is planning to winter over at the cabin this year.
winter over (some place)
to spend the winter at some place. The bears all winter over in their dens. All the animals are getting ready either to migrate or to winter over. My parents winter over in Florida.
To spend, endure, or survive a winter: The scientist wintered over at the South Pole. My plant has wintered over successfully for three years.