asy·​lee | \ ə-ˌsī-ˈlē How to pronounce asylee (audio) \
plural asylees

Definition of asylee

: someone who is seeking asylum (see asylum sense 3b) or who has been granted asylum Asylum status may be terminated for the same grounds or if there are changed circumstances in the asylee's country which eliminates the need for asylum.Federal Register Part V, 2 June 1980 White House aide Jack Watson, according to The Wall Street Journal, refers to Cubans seeking asylum in the United States as “asylees.”— William Safire, New York Times Magazine, 15 June 1980 … told me that one of the questions the authorities ask to determine whether or not someone qualifies for asylee status is “Are you afraid to return to your own country?”— G. Willow Wilson, The Butterfly Mosque, 2010

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of asylee

1950, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for asylee

asyl(um) + -ee entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about asylee

Statistics for asylee

Cite this Entry

“Asylee.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!