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

Zacharias came by his fascination of canoeing and kayaking from his father, Carl, who had emigrated from Germany and was an orthopedic surgeon in Dodge City for many years. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "Johnson County leader had life-changing kayak adventure at 22. At 64, he wants repeat | The Kansas City Star," 21 May 2018 Nell emigrated to America in 1958 and settled near her brothers and sister in the Hartford area. courant.com, "Ellen Hosey," 18 May 2018 So the family emigrated to South America in 1949, when Claire was 8 years old, and settled in Cali, Colombia, where Prof. courant.com, "Claire Barber," 8 June 2018 According to a Loyola biography, Waltzer said her proudest achievement was winning freedom for a family of Russian Jews who had been denied permission to emigrate. Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "In Germany, she hid from the Nazis; in New Orleans, she broke barriers," 23 May 2018 The Frank patriarch tried multiple times to emigrate to the United States. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Anne Frank’s family immigration efforts thwarted by restrictive policies, World War II," 6 July 2018 By some estimates there are as many as one million Iranian-Americans, and many have relatives in Iran who may now not be able to emigrate or visit. New York Times, "Trump’s Travel Ban: How It Works and Who Is Affected," 1 July 2018 And a letter to Andropov from a Soviet girl named Irina Tarnopolsky made the rounds in the American press, describing how the girl’s Jewish family hoped to emigrate to Israel, but her father had been arrested for anti-Soviet agitation. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The Surprising Story of the American Girl Who Broke Through the Iron Curtain," 10 May 2018 The violent repression of the protests has reminded many Nicaraguans in Miami of the violence that led them to emigrate in the early 1980s, after Sandinista guerrillas toppled the Somoza dictatorship. Juan Luis García, miamiherald, "South Florida's Nicaraguans outraged over violence in their home country | Miami Herald," 25 Apr. 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

8 Nov 2018

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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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).


by force of circumstances

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