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

In the early part of the 20th century, an estimated 300 golfers from Carnoustie, located in Angus across the water from St. Andrews, emigrated to the United States, providing caddies and club makers to help grow a fledgling sport. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "New documentary, ‘Loopers,’ celebrates caddies place in golf history," 12 June 2019 The author, Helen Weinzweig, born in Poland in 1915, emigrated to Canada as a child with her mother, published her first novel at the age of 58 and died in 2010. New York Times, "Her Lover May Not Exist, but Her Doubts About the Patriarchy Are Real," 6 July 2018 Erick emigrated from Cuba to the U.S. with his family in 2012. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "8 Facts About CNCO That’ll Make You Love Them Even More," 28 May 2019 Schauer said many Venezuelans carrying the virus are looking for ways to emigrate to save themselves. Daniel Shoer Roth, miamiherald, "He can’t get proper HIV treatment in Venezuela. But he’s being deported anyway.," 3 Feb. 2018 The Joy Luck Club Based on the best-selling novel by Amy Tan, the movie follows a group of four women (i.e. The Joy Luck Club) who emigrated from China to America, and their daughters. Seventeen, "20 Mother's Day Movies to Watch With Your Mom," 11 Apr. 2019 Widespread shortages of food and medicine have prompted three million Venezuelans to emigrate, mostly on foot. Bradley Olson, WSJ, "U.S. Backing of Venezuela Opposition Government Risks Putting State’s Oil Money in Limbo," 25 Jan. 2019 Samson Borgelin, who emigrated to the U.S. from Haiti in 1981, became a citizen in the late 1990s and is now a North Lauderdale city commissioner, said Trump’s campaigning in Little Haiti helped him. Anthony Man, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Haitian-American voters could turn on Trump," 5 July 2018 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

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

21 Jun 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 take the place or position of

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