immigrant

noun
im·​mi·​grant | \ ˈi-mə-grənt \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from immigrant

immigrant adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for immigrant

Synonyms

emigrant, émigré (also emigré), in-migrant, incomer [chiefly British], migrant, out-migrant, settler

Antonyms

nonimmigrant

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Two men tried to shoot her in 1842, and in 1849, her carriage was attacked by William Hamilton, an unemployed Irish immigrant who later pled guilty to the crime and was banished for seven years, History reports. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "15 Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About Queen Victoria," 8 Jan. 2019 President Trump’s constant stoking of panic about immigrants coming into the US to commit crimes has overshadowed a real crisis at the border over the past several months — a crisis of resources. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump administration to release hundreds of immigrant families from detention," 27 Dec. 2018 The immigration debate isn’t really about immigrants. Reihan Salam, WSJ, "A Way Out of the Immigration Crisis," 21 Sep. 2018 More than 5,000 immigrants were recruited into the military in 2016, and roughly 10,000 are currently serving throughout all branches of the military. Renae Reints, Fortune, "The U.S. Army Is Abruptly Discharging Immigrant Enlistees Previously Headed Toward Citizenship, Lawyers Say," 6 July 2018 People have been whispering among themselves about Spanish-speaking immigrants, Muslims mosques and black people moving into their neighborhoods since time immemorial. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Donald Trump is Not Making White People More Racist, He's Making Them Act More Racist," 5 July 2018 Like the ’98 Rainbow Team, the 2018 incarnation of Les Blues is incredibly diverse: 17 of the 23 players on the roster are sons of first-generation immigrants. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final," 13 July 2018 The love of Puerto Rican immigrant Maria and Italian-American former gang member Tony plays out against the explosive rivalry of their respective sides, the Sharks and the Jets, ending in tragedy. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "Tony Winner Ivo van Hove to Direct 'West Side Story' on Broadway (Exclusive)," 12 July 2018 At the United Nations, his ambassador will be a poised and elegant Indian American with a compelling immigrant backstory. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Is Trump casting an “all-American” Supreme Court Justice?," 5 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of immigrant

1789, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about immigrant

Statistics for immigrant

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for immigrant

The first known use of immigrant was in 1789

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for immigrant

immigrant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of immigrant

: a person who comes to a country to live there

immigrant

noun
im·​mi·​grant | \ ˈi-mi-grənt \

Kids Definition of immigrant

: a person who comes to a country to live there

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on immigrant

What made you want to look up immigrant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!