mi·grate | \ ˈmī-ˌgrāt , mī-ˈ \
migrated; migrating

Definition of migrate 

intransitive verb

1 : to move from one country, place, or locality to another Thousands of workers migrate to this area in the summer.

2 : to pass usually periodically from one region or climate to another for feeding or breeding The whales migrate between their feeding ground in the north and their breeding ground in the Caribbean.

3 : to change position or location in an organism or substance filarial worms migrate within the human body

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Other words from migrate

migrator \ˈmī-ˌgrā-tər, mī-ˈ \ noun

Examples of migrate in a Sentence

He migrates from New York to Florida each winter. Thousands of workers migrate to this area each summer. The whales migrate between their feeding ground in the north and their breeding ground in the Caribbean. They followed the migrating herds of buffalo across the plains.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The work communicates the ways in which people may migrate into unexpected places, but also the ways in which places, or reductive ideas about them, get projected onto people. Sharon Mizota, latimes.com, "Review: Photographer Todd Gray traces African roots," 9 July 2018 Starry uses an entirely different technique that’s based on Wi-Fi, although chief executive Chet Kanojia has said his company might eventually migrate to 5G if it can be done at a reasonable cost. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Internet service Starry, aiming to take on its bigger rivals, raises $100 million," 5 July 2018 Not what’s happening in the NBA’s Western Conference, where players are migrating like ducks or winter geese. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Cowardly super teams turning NBA into a laugher," 3 July 2018 If there’s more variation in the females than the males, that might mean the females were migrating from different areas. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "How Ancient Teeth Reveal The Roots of Humankind," 2 July 2018 Content from Prime Video Here’s what the research says about why so many Central American children are migrating. Rachel Schwartz, Washington Post, "Why are so many children coming to the U.S. from Central America in the first place?," 29 June 2018 Researchers say tick species are migrating, with some that were once just in southern Illinois or further south now being found in northern Illinois and vice versa, Arnold said. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Influx of ticks this spring prompts alerts from Kane County Health Department," 9 June 2018 Especially vulnerable are migrating bear, deer, lynx and wolf populations. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Border walls aim to keep out migrants, but also threaten bears, deer, other wildlife," 24 May 2018 And then, immediately preceding the breakouts in the Leilani Estates area [one of the residential areas affected by the latest Kilauea activity], there were earthquakes migrating into that region. NBC News, "Volcano expert explains the science behind Kilauea's ongoing eruption," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'migrate.' 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 migrate

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for migrate

Latin migratus, past participle of migrare; perhaps akin to Greek ameibein to change

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Statistics for migrate

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for migrate

The first known use of migrate was circa 1623

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More Definitions for migrate



English Language Learners Definition of migrate

: to move from one country or place to live or work in another

of a bird or animal : to move from one area to another at different times of the year


mi·grate | \ ˈmī-ˌgrāt \
migrated; migrating

Kids Definition of migrate

1 : to move from one country or region to another Families migrated west in search of work.

2 : to pass from one region to another on a regular basis Many birds migrate south for the winter.

mi·grate | \ ˈmī-ˌgrāt , mī-ˈ \
migrated; migrating

Medical Definition of migrate 

: to move from one place to another: as

a : to move from one site to another in a host organism especially as part of a life cycle filarial worms migrate within the human body

b of an atom or group : to shift position within a molecule

Other words from migrate

migratory \ˈmī-grə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr- \ adjective

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Comments on migrate

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


an open space surrounded by woods

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