im·​mi·​grant ˈi-mə-grənt How to pronounce immigrant (audio)
: one that immigrates: such as
: a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence
: a plant or animal that becomes established in an area where it was previously unknown
immigrant adjective

Did you know?

immigrant or emigrant?

Both of these words come from the Latin migrare (“to move from one place to another”), and both have definitions in English that hew closely to their etymological roots, but there is a definite difference between how you would use each one. Emigrant is used in reference to the country that has been left (“an emigrant from Canada”), while immigrant is used in reference the country that one is destined for (“an immigrant to Spain”).

Examples of immigrant in a Sentence

Millions of immigrants came to America from Europe in the 19th century. The city has a large immigrant population.
Recent Examples on the Web My maternal grandfather was an Italian immigrant and a construction worker, part of the crew that built the dozen or so residential colleges at Yale during the Depression. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 25 May 2024 Hassan has found that immigrants also boost wages and growth. Max Greenwood, Miami Herald, 24 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for immigrant 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'immigrant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1789, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of immigrant was in 1789

Dictionary Entries Near immigrant

Cite this Entry

“Immigrant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


im·​mi·​grant ˈim-i-grənt How to pronounce immigrant (audio)
: a person who comes to a country to live there
: a plant or animal that becomes established in an area where it did not occur previously
immigrant adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on immigrant

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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