im·​mi·​grant | \ ˈi-mə-grənt How to pronounce immigrant (audio) \

Definition of immigrant

: one that immigrates: such as
a : a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence
b : a plant or animal that becomes established in an area where it was previously unknown

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Other Words from immigrant

immigrant adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for immigrant



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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 Sharkey said companies owned by people of color and immigrants have been especially impacted by the days of unrest. Tyler J. Davis, USA TODAY, "Their stores were burned, ransacked and looted. What's next for Minneapolis-area small business owners who lost everything?," 1 June 2020 Seattle's King County has been producing fact sheets in languages spoken by local immigrant and refugee communities, such as Amharic, Khmer, and Marshallese. Gretchen Mcculloch, Wired, "Covid-19 Is History’s Biggest Translation Challenge," 31 May 2020 Tallaj said that Decoo, a Dominican immigrant and pediatrician who lived in Washington Heights, chose to forgo his retirement to treat patients during the coronavirus pandemic. Li Cohen, CBS News, "Massive mural of doctor who died of COVID-19 honors immigrant frontline workers in New York City," 29 May 2020 But the stimulus check program excluded dependents, undocumented immigrants, and individual filers with adjusted gross incomes above $99,000. Lance Lambert, Fortune, "Fortune poll: Who supports Round 2 of stimulus checks—and who doesn’t," 29 May 2020 The dozens of vitriolic posts, which appeared on Howze’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, attacked Muslims, Mexican immigrants and a variety of Democratic leaders and endorsed a wide range of conspiracy theories. John Wildermuth,, "California Republican with bigoted social media posts loses House GOP leader’s support," 26 May 2020 At least 323 workers have contracted COVID-19 at the Cactus plant where about 3,200 employees — mostly immigrants and refugees speaking a score or more different languages — provide beef to 10 million people a day. USA Today, "Cheap chicken, beef came at a cost. How American meat plants bred coronavirus hot spots.," 22 May 2020 The final incident occurred near U.S. HIghway 59 when agents on patrol stopped a pickup truck with four undocumented immigrants and a U.S. citizen driver. Fox News, "Border Patrol agents stop 3 human smuggling attempts, more than 60 people arrested in 1 day," 18 May 2020 Republican Mike Garcia, the son of a Mexican immigrant and a veteran, won a special election last week that flipped the seat to Republican control. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "'Pretty f---ing devastating': Katie Hill says she cried after learning GOP flipped her seat in Congress," 18 May 2020

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

1789, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for immigrant

Time Traveler

The first known use of immigrant was in 1789

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Statistics for immigrant

Last Updated

4 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Immigrant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for immigrant


How to pronounce immigrant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of immigrant

: a person who comes to a country to live there


im·​mi·​grant | \ ˈi-mi-grənt How to pronounce immigrant (audio) \

Kids Definition of immigrant

: a person who comes to a country to live there

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