em·​i·​grant | \ ˈe-mi-grənt How to pronounce emigrant (audio) \

Definition of emigrant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who emigrates
2 : a migrant plant or animal



Definition of emigrant (Entry 2 of 2)

: departing or having departed from a country to settle elsewhere

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Synonyms & Antonyms for emigrant

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Frequently Asked Questions About emigrant

What is the difference between an emigrant and an immigrant?

Immigrant and emigrant both refer to a person leaving their own country for another. However, immigrant (and its verb form _immigrate) typically stress the country going to, while emigrant (and its verb emigrate) stress the country coming from. One is an immigrant to a new country, and an emigrant from an old one. See here for more on the difference between emigrant and immigrant.

Is emigrant a noun or a verb?

Emigrant is a noun, meaning "one who leaves one's place of residence or country to live elsewhere." It is synonymous with émigré, a word that is especially used of a person who has left for political reasons. The verb form of the word is emigrate.

Does emigrant imply illegality?

Both emigrant and immigrant refer to a person who has moved from one country to another, usually in permanent or semi-permanent fashion. Neither word by itself has any connotations of illegality.

Examples of emigrant in a Sentence

Noun Millions of European emigrants came to America in the 19th century. a city teeming with emigrants from many lands
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The region’s latest emigrant is database giant Oracle Corp. , a fixture of Silicon Valley for decades that last year signed a 20-year deal to put its name on the San Francisco Giants’ stadium, Oracle Park. Aaron Tilley, WSJ, "Covid-19 Pandemic Loosens Silicon Valley’s Tight Grip on Tech Industry," 13 Dec. 2020 The city has yet to inventory damage to grave markers, many of which mark the resting place of some of the state’s earliest emigrant settlers. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "City surveys damage winds heaped on top of cemetery’s already crumbling infrastructure," 19 Sep. 2020 Law, who departed for a still-undisclosed location, was perhaps Hong Kong's first public emigrant of the security law era. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "Hong Kongers are suddenly the world’s most sought-after emigrants," 3 July 2020 Many developing nations that benefit from large remittances from emigrants working in the industrialized world will see those payments dry up. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "UN food program chief fears coronavirus could lead to 'famines of biblical proportions'," 22 Apr. 2020 The Gestapo, German Secret Police in Konstanz, had been rumored to help guide emigrants across the Swiss border. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel man born amid Spanish flu died of coronavirus. In between he escaped the Nazis.," 27 Apr. 2020 Brathwaite conjures up a series of emigrants, waiting to leave their islands for countries that, ironically, do not want them. Gabrielle Bellot, The New York Review of Books, "Kamau Brathwaite and the Voice of the Caribbean," 27 Feb. 2020 Over the decades, the saloon has taken on various incarnations — a post office, stage depot and a hostelry — morphing to suit the needs of a developing community along a popular emigrant trail. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "Dining at Kirkwood Inn a lesson in California history," 29 Jan. 2020 Together with them and others, Salka marshaled her powerful friends to offer affidavits guaranteeing financial support to new emigrants; among those who contributed were Dorothy Parker and Herman Mankiewicz. Ruth Franklin, Harper's magazine, "Salka the Salonnière," 6 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective One of the most unusual political leaders during the era after the Civil War was William Hines Furbush, a Black soldier, photographer, emigrant to Liberia, state legislator and the first sheriff of Lee County. Tom Dillard, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | TOM DILLARD: Arkansas politics not as much fun as they used to be," 14 Dec. 2020 Lebanon, a country of 5 million, takes massive pride in its emigrant community – including the many successful businessmen and celebrities of Lebanese heritage. Zeina Karam, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Come with dollars:' Lebanon PM asks its expats to visit home," 1 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emigrant.' 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 emigrant


1735, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1773, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for emigrant

Time Traveler

The first known use of emigrant was in 1735

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Cite this Entry

“Emigrant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emigrant. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for emigrant



English Language Learners Definition of emigrant

: a person who leaves a country or region to live in another one : a person who emigrates


em·​i·​grant | \ ˈe-mi-grənt How to pronounce emigrant (audio) \

Kids Definition of emigrant

: a person who leaves one country or region to live in another

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Comments on emigrant

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