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 Some residents turned to the sea for their living; others emigrated to Australia. Andrea Frazzetta, National Geographic, "What it’s like to live in the shadow of an active volcano," 29 Dec. 2019 In 1991 Muchnik, her husband and three children emigrated to the United States, seeking more freedom. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "For Holocaust survivors, Hanukkah marks time to celebrate outside the shadows," 23 Dec. 2019 Born in 1761, Tubbs emigrated to the United States during her teenage years. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "‘Witch Bottle’ Filled With Teeth, Pins and Mysterious Liquid Discovered in English Chimney," 1 Nov. 2019 The Vindmans emigrated from the Soviet Union, not Ukraine. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "How Trump’s Supporters Distort Alexander Vindman’s Very American Origin Story," 31 Oct. 2019 After the war, her father, who had scientific and technical skills valuable to the U.S., emigrated to Baltimore with his wife and children in 1953 as part of a U.S. Department of Defense program. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, "Dagmar Miller, Pikesville Senior High English teacher and Wyman Park community leader, dies at 73," 30 Oct. 2019 His mom’s family picked cotton on a Georgia plantation before emigrating to Florida. Steve West, sun-sentinel.com, "The identical - but different - twins | Opinion," 24 Oct. 2019 Firmino was a veteran of the Portuguese Army during WWII, and worked for the Port Authority of Madeira, Portugal before emigrating to the U.S. courant.com, "Firmino Ascencao Correia," 1 Oct. 2019 Those who went through the earthquake [in 2010], emigrated [to the Bahamas] for a better life, were left with nothing again. Paul Moakley, Time, "'Everything Was Broken.' The Photographer Who Captured the Most Haunting Photographs of Dorian and Its Aftermath," 21 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for emigrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of emigrate was in 1766

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Statistics for emigrate

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Emigrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emigrate. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for emigrate


How to pronounce emigrate (audio)

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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