im·​mi·​grate ˈi-mə-ˌgrāt How to pronounce immigrate (audio)
immigrated; immigrating

intransitive verb

: to enter and usually become established
especially : to come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence

transitive verb

: to bring in or send as immigrants

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Some may be fleeing violence, experts say, while others may be immigrating for economic opportunities or to reunite with family. Nouran Salahieh, CNN, 15 May 2023 Yet year after year, congressional efforts to strike a wide-ranging bipartisan deal — one that would strengthen border security measures while expanding avenues for people to immigrate to the United States in an orderly and lawful way — have fractured under the strain of political forces. Karoun Demirjian, New York Times, 14 May 2023 Eze also said that the suspect had immigrated to the United States from Mexico illegally and was deported four times before returning to the United States on each occasion. María Luisa Paúl, Marisa Iati, Ben Brasch And Maham Javaid, The Washington Post, Anchorage Daily News, 2 May 2023 The Goodmans learned to speak English after immigrating to the United States from Poland in the 1930s as youngsters. Martin E. Comas, Orlando Sentinel, 23 Mar. 2023 Her parents had immigrated from Eastern Europe in the 1920s and met in New York. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 2 Mar. 2023 Desire Consider the scenarios of an employee looking to switch jobs to earn a higher income, a man staring lustfully at a pretty woman’s face, or a young person looking to immigrate to access better economic opportunities; what do these people all have in common? Confidence Staveley, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2022 Law doesn't apply to those who immigrated illegally The post refers to California Senate Bill 960, which Newsom signed into law in September 2022. Hannah Hudnall, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2022 Born in Transylvania in 1920, Ferencz immigrated as a young boy with his parents to New York to escape rampant antisemitism. Mike Schneider, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Latin immigratus, past participle of immigrare to remove, go in, from in- + migrare to migrate

First Known Use

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of immigrate was circa 1623

Dictionary Entries Near immigrate

Cite this Entry

“Immigrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​mi·​grate ˈim-ə-ˌgrāt How to pronounce immigrate (audio)
immigrated; immigrating
: to come into a foreign country to live
immigration noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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