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

The brain drain of educated professionals would need to go into reverse to staff everything from hospitals to oil rigs. Peter Millard,, "A Timeline of Venezuela’s Economic Rise and Fall," 16 Feb. 2019 Each year, 150,000-180,000 educated Iranians leave the country, according to the International Monetary Fund, in one of the worst brain drains in the world. Sune Engel Rasmussen, WSJ, "As Iran Marks Its Anniversary, Economic Woes Cloud a Pitch for Unity," 10 Feb. 2019 The brain drain could extend to other areas of government. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Mexican President-Elect López Obrador Is Spooking Foreign Investors," 25 Nov. 2018 The goal is not only to prepare youths for the working world, but to plug the brain drain that threatens the workforce as talented youths leave their hometowns. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz,, "Unemployment rate for Chicago’s black youth improves: report," 12 May 2018 Over half a million Greeks left during the crisis in a brain drain that has hampered a recovery. Liz Alderman, New York Times, "As Greece Ends a Decade of Bailouts, Problems Linger for Europe," 19 June 2018 This brain drain hurts the entire Muslim community. Daisy Khan, WSJ, "The #MosqueMeToo Movement," 28 June 2018 Also, combat the summer brain drain by taking advantage of a reading program or a tech camp. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Summer fun! Keep the kids occupied with free and cheap activities," 25 June 2018 Voters remain concerned about immigration and the high cost of E.U. membership, despite early evidence of brain drain and a looming recruitment crisis. NBC News, "Brexit chaos: What happens next for British PM Theresa May?," 10 July 2018

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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Statistics for brain drain

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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The first known use of brain drain was in 1960

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on brain drain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brain drain

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