ex·​pa·​tri·​ate | \ ek-ˈspā-trē-ˌāt How to pronounce expatriate (audio) \
expatriated; expatriating

Definition of expatriate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : banish, exile
2 : to withdraw (oneself) from residence in or allegiance to one's native country

intransitive verb

: to leave one's native country to live elsewhere also : to renounce allegiance to one's native country


ex·​pa·​tri·​ate | \ ek-ˈspā-trē-ət How to pronounce expatriate (audio) , -trē-ˌāt\

Definition of expatriate (Entry 2 of 3)

: living in a foreign land


ex·​pa·​tri·​ate | \ ek-ˈspā-trē-ˌāt How to pronounce expatriate (audio) , -ət\

Definition of expatriate (Entry 3 of 3)

: a person who lives in a foreign country Hemingway himself in The Sun Also Rises, 1926, had given the picture of the dislocated life of young English and American expatriates in the bars of Paris, the "lost generation," as Gertrude Stein defined them.— Robert Penn Warren

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Other Words from expatriate


expatriation \ (ˌ)ek-​ˌspā-​trē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce expatriation (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for expatriate

Synonyms: Verb

banish, deport, displace, exile, relegate, transport

Synonyms: Noun

deportee, émigré (also emigré), evacuee, exile, expat [chiefly British], refugee

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Examples of expatriate in a Sentence


members of the deposed dictator's once-feared political party were expatriated as well

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Plus, several Manhattan chefs have expatriated to the town, so, yum. Devin Alessio, ELLE Decor, "Take A Weekend Getaway In Hudson, New York," 16 Sep. 2016 The obstacles include the precedent that the Constitution does not allow the government to expatriate Americans against their will, through a landmark 1967 case, Afroyim v. Rusk. Charlie Savage, New York Times, "Trump Calls for Revoking Flag Burners’ Citizenship. Court Rulings Forbid It.," 29 Nov. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In the New Territories seaside village of Sheung Sze Wan, home to many expatriate business people, waves lapped at a row of houses normally several feet above sea level. John Lyons, WSJ, "Typhoon Mangkhut Leaves Trail of Destruction, Dozens Dead," 16 Sep. 2018 The religious institutions serve a population composed almost entirely of expatriate workers from Asia, Europe and beyond. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "In Arab Nation, Christians, Buddhists and Jews Emerge to Worship," 27 Jan. 2019 Where to Eat and Drink Pizzeria Maresia This popular spot close to the beach is owned and run by an expatriate Italian. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "An Insider’s Guide to Atins, a Hidden Paradise on the Northeast Coast of Brazil," 18 Jan. 2019 The regime’s proclivity to assassinate expatriate dissidents—which crescendoed in the 1990s when President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and his fixer, Mr. Rouhani, were in power—is growing again. Reuel Marc Gerecht, WSJ, "Tehran Counts on a Divided West," 12 Dec. 2018 By contrast, the Axis goals were arguably more modest: mostly to deny regional resources to their enemies and to maintain ties to their expatriate communities. Nicholas Reynolds, WSJ, "‘The Tango War’ Review: The Southern Theater," 24 Oct. 2018 Saudi Arabia is attempting to reduce this unemployment rate through initiatives such as levies on firms that employ expatriate workers and by enforcing stricter nationalization quotas in the private sector. Donna Abdulaziz, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Plans More Spending to Boost Sluggish Growth," 30 Sep. 2018 Buried inside the order is a section requiring all expatriate workers to undergo formal Indonesian language training, an apparent first for any nation in Southeast Asia. Joe Cochrane, New York Times, "Indonesia’s Order to Foreign Workers: Learn the Language," 23 June 2018 For decades, expatriate workers from countries such as India and the Philippines helped sustain Saudi Arabia’s high living standards by doing jobs Saudis wouldn’t do in kitchens, at construction sites and behind store counters. Margherita Stancati, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia’s Economic Revamp Means More Jobs for Saudis—If Only They Wanted Them," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Most of its residents live on the face of a hill, some of them in large, soft-hued Victorian mansions that were built by wealthy San Franciscans and British expatriates more than a century ago. Joe Kloc, Harper's magazine, "Lost at Sea," 10 June 2019 Over the past 30 years, expatriates flooded in, enchanted by the city’s hilly cobblestone streets, soaring Gothic church, and houses painted in sunset colors: dusky rose, peach, yellow, orange. Mary Beth Sheridan, The Seattle Times, "The little-noticed surge across the U.S.-Mexico border: Americans heading south," 21 May 2019 Indonesia, a country of 260 million people, currently has about 126,000 working Asian and Western expatriates, a low percentage compared with neighbors like Singapore and Malaysia. Joe Cochrane, New York Times, "Indonesia’s Order to Foreign Workers: Learn the Language," 23 June 2018 Though Saudi Arabia is changing its culture via Vision 2030, the country remains conservatively religious, with few pastimes for Western expatriates and little access to alcohol. Rory Jones, WSJ, "Expats Flee Saudi Fund, Bemoan Crown Prince Control," 31 Dec. 2018 But American expatriates with foreign spouses whose children are born abroad don’t automatically qualify for U.S. citizenship due to the law’s physical-presence requirements. Dave Seminara, WSJ, "Constitutional Ways to Curb ‘Birth Tourism’," 11 Nov. 2018 More than 59 million Turkish citizens — including 3 million expatriates — are eligible to vote in Sunday's elections. Suzan Fraser, chicagotribune.com, "Erdogan seeks to cement power in Turkey's high-stakes votes," 24 June 2018 Mazatlan is a popular vacation spot and home to a large number of American and Canadian expatriates. Maria Verza, The Seattle Times, "Dangerous Cat 4 Hurricane Willa closes in on Mexico coast," 22 Oct. 2018 Fornés’s art studies would eventually lead her to meet Harriet Sohmers, a bohemian artist’s model and expatriate who encouraged Fornés to join her in Paris. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "María Irene Fornés, the Cuban Playwright Who Changed Theater, Dies at 88," 31 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expatriate.' 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 expatriate


1768, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1812, in the meaning defined above


1818, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for expatriate


Medieval Latin expatriatus, past participle of expatriare to leave one's own country, from Latin ex- + patria native country, from feminine of patrius of a father, from patr-, pater father — more at father

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The first known use of expatriate was in 1768

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English Language Learners Definition of expatriate

: a person who lives in a foreign country


ex·​pa·​tri·​ate | \ ek-ˈspā-trē-ˌāt How to pronounce expatriate (audio) \
expatriated; expatriating

Legal Definition of expatriate

transitive verb

: to voluntarily withdraw (oneself) from allegiance to one's native country

intransitive verb

: to renounce allegiance to one's country and abandon one's nationality voluntarily

Other Words from expatriate

expatriate \ -​trē-​ət \ noun
expatriation \ ek-​ˌspā-​trē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce expatriation (audio) \ noun

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