em·​i·​grate | \ ˈe-mə-ˌgrāt \
emigrated; emigrating

Definition of emigrate

intransitive verb

: to leave one's place of residence or country to live elsewhere emigrated from Canada to the United States

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Other Words from emigrate

emigration \ ˌe-​mə-​ˈgrā-​shən \ noun

Did You Know?

Migrate, emigrate, and immigrate are all about being on the move. All those terms come from the Latin word migrare, which means "to move from one place to another." Emigrate and immigrate sound alike, and it is true that both involve leaving one location and entering another. The subtle difference between them lies in point of view: emigrate stresses leaving the original place, while immigrate focuses on entering the new one. You won't have trouble keeping them straight if you remember that the prefix e- means "away," as in eject, and the prefix im- or in- means "into," as in inject.

Examples of emigrate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Photo: shamil zhumatov/Reuters David Whelan, the twin brother of Paul Whelan, told The Wall Street Journal in a phone call that his brother was born in Canada to British parents who emigrated there. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "American Charged in Russia Tried to Steal $10,000 as a Marine in Iraq," 4 Jan. 2019 Durmaz was born in Sweden to Assyrian parents who emigrated there from Turkey. Jenna West, SI.com, "Sweden's Jimmy Durmaz Racially Abused on Social Media After Germany Defeat," 24 June 2018 His great-grandfather John Edward Kelly was born in Maine, the son of parents who emigrated from Canada. Philip Bump, BostonGlobe.com, "Immigration crucial part of Kelly’s family history," 12 May 2018 Ralph’s parents emigrated from Belarus and settled in New York, trying to find that better life, if not for themselves then for their children. Vogue, "Oprah Reflects on 50 Years of Ralph Lauren Defining American Style," 18 Sep. 2018 Zidane was born in the tough Marseille suburbs to Algerian parents, who had emigrated to France in the 1950s. Matias Grez, CNN, "France's 'Rainbow Team' look backs at historic World Cup triumph," 8 June 2018 About 170 people have died in street protests since 2014, with more than 1.2 million Venezuelans emigrating in that period to escape the country’s great unraveling. José De Córdoba, WSJ, "With Old Escape Routes Gone, Dictators Hang On," 3 Aug. 2018 Polls indicate that one in two Gaza residents would emigrate if given a chance. Washington Post, "In Gaza, border opening brings relief and anxiety," 25 May 2018 Polls indicate that one in two Gaza residents would emigrate if given a chance. Fares Akram, The Christian Science Monitor, "For Gazans, an open border crossing still presents barriers," 25 May 2018

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

1766, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for emigrate

Latin emigratus, past participle of emigrare, from e- + migrare to migrate

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Statistics for emigrate

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for emigrate

The first known use of emigrate was in 1766

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More Definitions for emigrate



English Language Learners Definition of emigrate

: to leave a country or region to live elsewhere


em·​i·​grate | \ ˈe-mə-ˌgrāt \
emigrated; emigrating

Kids Definition of emigrate

: to leave one country or region to live in another My grandparents emigrated from China.

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More from Merriam-Webster on emigrate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with emigrate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for emigrate

Spanish Central: Translation of emigrate

Nglish: Translation of emigrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of emigrate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on emigrate

What made you want to look up emigrate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a complex dispute or argument

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