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 These include people like Wilhelmina Morgenweck, a German immigrant who married Heurich coachman Jim Muir and then went by Minnie. Washington Post, "The pandemic isn’t stopping D.C.’s annual history conference," 11 Nov. 2020 It, too, was founded — in 1923 as a discount men’s wear shop — by a Jewish immigrant. Reggie Nadelson, New York Times, "The New York Store Where Furniture Is Theater," 28 Oct. 2020 Jacob Schoen, a German immigrant who operated a carriage and livery business, first opened a funeral home in 1874. Blake Pontchartrain,, "Blakeview: Remembering the funeral homes that have served generations of New Orleanians," 26 Oct. 2020 The original owner was German immigrant John Raap, a wholesale liquor retailer and wine merchant who was murdered in 1897 by a former employee at his wholesale liquor store on Milwaukee Avenue. Blair Kamin,, "Column: Let’s toast the architecture of Chicago’s beer buildings, even if this isn’t happy hour for some of them," 1 Oct. 2020 The Marcus name is a nod to Marcus Goldman, a German immigrant who founded the firm in 1869. Sridhar Natarajan,, "Goldman Consumer Chief to Give Up Post in Leadership Change," 28 Sep. 2020 Trump was expecting to get a heartfelt boost for his border security policies from the mother of a Mesa, Arizona, police officer killed by an undocumented immigrant six years ago. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "RNC takeaways night 2: Melania Trump speaks of 'harsh reality' of racial unrest, Pompeo stirs controversy," 26 Aug. 2020 Brandon Mendoza, was killed by an immigrant in a drunken-driving collision in 2014. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Who will speak at the Republican National Convention and how to watch," 24 Aug. 2020 On Tuesday morning, Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke, a German immigrant to Canada, tweeted out an invitation to tech workers wanting to immigrate to the U.S. to think about Canada instead, where the e-commerce powerhouse is based. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Tesla, Google, and Chamber of Commerce CEOs among business leaders slamming Trump’s visa ban," 23 June 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

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Immigrant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 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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