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 Warriors’ bench has experienced some brain drain in recent years, as Mike Brown left to lead the Kings and Jama Mahlalela departed for Toronto. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 3 May 2024 Social media is in essence a brain drain between sporadic bursts of breaking news and fresh commentary. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2024 There’s a brain drain happening across every government across the world. Chris Stokel-Walker, WIRED, 14 Mar. 2024 The campaign fizzled out as young Iowans continued to seek bright lights elsewhere after college, part of a perennial brain drain still facing this and other Midwestern states. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 Mar. 2024 The reported brain drain has seemed to have minimal consequence on the boulevard of Black Twitter, where members have a sense of ownership over the platform. Jason Parham, WIRED, 29 Jan. 2024 An estimated 1 million Russians left the country in 2022 and 2023, including some prominent anti-war cultural figures, in the largest brain drain since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Bloomberg, Fortune, 28 Jan. 2024 The retirement of experienced Baby Boomers will create a talent gap and brain drain in the U.S. labor market, as their in-depth, 30-plus years of industry knowledge will go out the door with them. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Nearly 1 million young Russians have fled the country, a brain drain that will weigh on the country’s future growth. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brain drain.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1960, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of brain drain was in 1960

Dictionary Entries Near brain drain

Cite this Entry

“Brain drain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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