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

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 Lucdwin Luck, a Republican activist whose parents emigrated from Haiti and was born in Fort Lauderdale, said his party would continue to reach out to the Haitian community, and candidates like Scott would be rewarded for their efforts. Anthony Man, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Haitian-American voters could turn on Trump," 5 July 2018 Salman grew up in Rodeo, California, after her parents emigrated from the West Bank in 1985, according to The New York Times. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Prosecutors open trial of Pulse gunman's widow, saying, 'Only two knew'," 14 Mar. 2018 Many of the photos described the countries from which these ancestors emigrated, like Poland, India, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Italy and others. Jennifer Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Cultural Awareness Week: Roosevelt School in Park Ridge embraces its student heritage," 12 Mar. 2018 Kim’s father emigrated to California from the Asian country in 1982, The New York Times reports. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Chloe Kim's Korean-American Dad Calls Her His 'American Dream' as Teen Chases Olympic Gold," 12 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

11 Oct 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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