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 It is not owned by a Ukrainian, but rather an American who emigrated to the U.S. as a child — from Russia, not Ukraine. Hope Yen, The Denver Post, "Fact check: Trump and his so-they-say accusations," 23 Nov. 2019 After emigrating from Lebanon in the 1920s, Milleron’s grandfather opened a restaurant there. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, "“I Will Never Let Boeing Forget Her”," 11 Nov. 2019 She and Michal began their family in Poland prior to emigrating to the United States in 1971. courant.com, "Maria E. Paul," 4 Nov. 2019 The son of Korean parents who emigrated to Japan in search of prosperity, Son himself moved to California at age 16, reportedly graduating from high school in just three weeks by passing all the requisite exams. Wired, "WeWork’s Failure is SoftBank’s Day Of Reckoning," 19 Oct. 2019 Mexico’s economy has grown and developed to a point where fewer people see the need to emigrate. Mark Krikorian, National Review, "Why Mexico Is Cooperating with Us on Immigration," 17 Oct. 2019 Shyamala Gopalan Harris was a breast cancer scientist and civil rights activist who emigrated to the United States from India in 1960. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "In The Presidential Debate, Biden and Buttigieg Fall Short on Race: RaceAhead," 28 June 2019 The flashbacks take us to an impoverished village in Valencia where Mallo, as a young boy (a beautifully expressive Asier Flores), emigrates with his parents, forced to make do in a cave dwelling. Jocelyn Noveck, Detroit Free Press, "Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Pain and Glory’ is heartfelt," 25 Oct. 2019 The need to move abroad is an option that’s consistent with current realities as several skilled developers are opting to work remotely for foreign companies or emigrate given the promise of professional growth and higher salaries. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "What Andela’s big change in business model and layoffs mean for Africa’s tech ecosystems," 18 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

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Emigrate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emigrated. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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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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Comments on emigrate

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