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

Essential Meaning of immigrant

: a person who comes to a country to live there Millions of immigrants came to America from Europe in the 19th century. The city has a large immigrant population. an illegal immigrant [=a person who enters and lives in a country without official permission]

Full 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

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 Puy, a gay immigrant from Argentina, was sworn in to serve the west side’s District 2 with his dog, Petunia, at his side. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Jan. 2022 Gyatso, a Tibetan immigrant from India, has been heavily involved with the union — often prioritizing it over other responsibilities, Dolma said. Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2021 Wayne County Commissioner Al Haidous, a Muslim immigrant from Lebanon, was mayor from 2002 to 2014 in the city of Wayne, which doesn't have many Arab-American residents. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 8 Aug. 2021 The driver was a 28-year-old unauthorized immigrant from Mexico who had lost his job during the pandemic. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, 22 July 2021 Rima Jodeh, a Palestinian immigrant from Jordan and mother of three, was working at the SoMa delicatessen around 1 p.m. Monday when the assailant entered, stole a beverage and left the shop, her daughter said. Nora Mishanec, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 June 2021 His father, a Jewish immigrant from Austria-Hungary, owned a local saloon with his brother. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 11 June 2021 Cristhian Bahena Rivera, a 26-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was found guilty on May 28 of murdering the 20-year-old Tibbetts. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, 9 June 2021 Restless City looked at an ambitious, romantic Senegalese immigrant hustling on the margins, while Where Is Kyra? Alison Willmore, Vulture, 6 Dec. 2021

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

8 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Immigrant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for immigrant


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

More from Merriam-Webster on immigrant

Nglish: Translation of immigrant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of immigrant for Arabic Speakers


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