brain drain


Definition of brain drain

: the departure of educated or professional people from one country, economic sector, or field for another usually for better pay or living conditions

Examples of brain drain in a Sentence

Nothing has been done to stop the brain drain as more and more doctors move away from the area.
Recent Examples on the Web China fears this could undercut Hong Kong’position as a global financial hub and lead to a brain drain. William Booth, Washington Post, "Britain may further limit Huawei in 5G, a win for Washington and blow to China," 6 July 2020 Some investors also are worried about a brain drain at Tesla. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Tesla stock topped $1,200. Here's how it could hit $2,000," 3 July 2020 In the last two years, Gaza has had a painful brain drain of those who can afford to pay the hefty fees and bribes to exit through Egypt. Hazem Balousha, Washington Post, "The U.N. once predicted Gaza would be ‘uninhabitable’ by 2020. Two million people still live there.," 2 Jan. 2020 With more Filipinos becoming sick, the consequences of a medical brain drain are weighing on the health-care industry. Claire Jiao,, "Supplier of World’s Nurses Struggles to Fight Virus at Home," 28 Apr. 2020 Thousand Talents aimed to reverse China’s brain drain to the West by offering elite Chinese scientists premier salaries and lab facilities to return home permanently. David Armstrong, ProPublica, "The Trump Administration Drove Him Back to China, Where He Invented a Fast Coronavirus Test," 18 Mar. 2020 Part of the Democrats’ technological degradation could be attributed to brain drain. Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times, "Trump Won the Internet. Democrats Are Scrambling to Take It Back.," 30 Mar. 2020 The achievement gap between rich and poor children has only widened, and an accelerating brain drain is causing some of Israel’s most valuable scientists, doctors and innovators to take their talents overseas. New York Times, "Israel, ‘Start-up Nation,’ Groans Under Strains of Growth and Neglect," 1 Mar. 2020 Finally, access to euthanasia comes to matter more than the ability to assure quality treatment, with the authorities willing to accept a brain drain from the health-care sector rather than allow conscientious objection. Wesley J. Smith, National Review, "Pressuring a Hospice to Kill," 24 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brain drain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of brain drain

1960, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of brain drain was in 1960

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Statistics for brain drain

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brain drain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for brain drain

brain drain


English Language Learners Definition of brain drain

: a situation in which many educated or professional people leave a particular place or profession and move to another one that gives them better pay or living conditions

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