mi·​grant ˈmī-grənt How to pronounce migrant (audio)
plural migrants
: someone or something that migrates: such as
: a person who moves regularly in order to find work especially in harvesting crops
farms employing migrants during the growing season
: immigrant sense a
especially : refugee
… administration officials announced they would work to swiftly screen migrants seeking asylum at the border … and penalize people who cross illegally into the U.S. or illegally through another country on their way to the U.S. border. Colleen Long
: an animal (such as a gray whale, monarch butterfly, leatherback sea turtle, or Canada goose) that moves usually long distances from one habitat or geographic region to another
migrant adjective
migrant labor
migrant birds

Examples of migrant in a Sentence

migrants in search of work on farms Not all birds are migrants.
Recent Examples on the Web Related article The ‘walking route’: How an underground industry is helping migrants flee China for the US The number of Chinese migrants illegally entering the US from Mexico has skyrocketed in recent years. Marlon Sorto, CNN, 1 Apr. 2024 The death of migrants in the desert has been ongoing for decades. Sarah Lapidus, The Arizona Republic, 29 Mar. 2024 Abbott has said the law, which allows the state to arrest and deport migrants on its own, is necessary to deal with the record number of migrants crossing into Texas from Mexico. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 28 Mar. 2024 As a 14-year-old migrant, Chavez picked canary tomatoes with his family in the Sacramento Delta in the early 1940s, according to Marc Grossman, Chavez’s longtime spokesman and personal aide. Mathew Miranda, Sacramento Bee, 28 Mar. 2024 That changed in the 1990s as meat packers began to recruit more migrants and refugees. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 Mar. 2024 The law allows the state's police to arrest migrants suspected of entering the United States illegally and to force them to accept a magistrate judge's deportation order or face stiffer criminal penalties for noncompliance. Hogan Gore, USA TODAY, 28 Mar. 2024 Michigan Republicans have been hammering Biden over undocumented migrants crossing the U.S. border with Mexico, particularly after a recent homicide in the Grand Rapids area in which the person accused of the crime returned to the U.S. illegally after being deported in 2020. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 28 Mar. 2024 The Texas law carries state criminal penalties of up to six months in jail for migrants who illegally enter from Mexico. Nick Miroff, Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'migrant.' 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 migrant-, migrans, present participle of migrare

First Known Use

1760, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of migrant was in 1760

Dictionary Entries Near migrant

Cite this Entry

“Migrant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/migrant. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mi·​grant ˈmī-grənt How to pronounce migrant (audio)
: a person, animal, or plant that migrates
migrant adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on migrant

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