em·​i·​grate | \ ˈe-mə-ˌgrāt How to pronounce emigrate (audio) \
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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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

Scores have emigrated to Hungary and western Europe, driven in part by Ukraine’s economic crisis and facilitated by the possibility of acquiring dual Hungarian citizenship, which comes with a European Union passport. Pablo Gorondi, The Seattle Times, "Ukraine’s Hungarian minority threatened by new education law," 14 Nov. 2018 He was born in London in 1944, and when Springer was 5 his family emigrated to New York City. Kyle Swenson, chicagotribune.com, "Jerry Springer changed TV forever. After 27 seasons, his daytime talk circus may be over.," 20 June 2018 Her great grandfather, Anselmo Minato, emigrated from the mountainous northern Italian town of Asolo in 1916. John Walters, Newsweek, "Kelsey Minato Is the Best Service Academy 'Baller Since David Robinson," 27 Jan. 2016 She was descended from the Moroneys of County Clare in Ireland, several of whom had emigrated to America. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer long wondered if he's related to JFK; at 72, he learned the truth," 12 May 2018 Another letter came from a man in Europe who had emigrated seven years ago because Brazil was a dead end. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Brazil’s Primal Scream," 6 Jan. 2019 Taub is a 63-year-old esthetician who emigrated from the former Czechoslovakia 33 years ago; her spa, Bay Harbor Med Spa, has locations in Atlanta and Miami Beach. E.j. Dickson, Vox, "The dangerous rise of vaginal lightening," 6 Dec. 2018 Her father, Joseph Fagone, was a shoemaker who had emigrated from Sicily. Bryan Marquard, BostonGlobe.com, "Lucy Fiandaca, 94, who transformed ‘any situation into love’," 7 July 2018 Claire was born in New Britain on September 5, 1925 to the late Alexander and Johanna (Samoja) Lapsis, who emigrated from Poland. courant.com, "Claire L. Galiette," 9 Feb. 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

23 Apr 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 How to pronounce emigrate (audio) \
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).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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