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

At least 60,000 people migrating internationally have died since 2000, while crossing the sea, traveling through inhospitable landscapes, in detention or elsewhere. Megan Specia, New York Times, "U.N. Agrees on Migration Pact, but U.S. Is Conspicuously Absent," 13 July 2018 Guests tend to disappear from reception halls and migrate to the nearest sports bar. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, "Loyalties Are Tested When the Big Game Falls on Your Big Day," 6 July 2018 Getting those young users back might be a lost cause – many have migrated to Instagram, also owned by Facebook, for reasons likely unrelated to recent scandals. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Facebook Is Developing a Time-Management Tool for Users," 23 June 2018 Their work might help answer questions about which species will survive, which will migrate to other more-forgiving habitats, and which ones will end up a distant memory. Eric Niiler, National Geographic, "The Ocean Is Getting More Acidic—What That Actually Means," 15 June 2018 Unlike those migrating across the U.S. border for economic reasons, who are often young and male, asylum-seekers often arrive as families. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Immigration Forces Beyond Trump’s Control," 8 June 2018 Idaho has been behind the curve in implementing robotic milking, partly because Lely, one of the major vendors, has been migrating its marketing across the country after starting in western Europe and then heading to Canada and the East Coast. Sharon Fisher, The Seattle Times, "Idaho dairies invest in robotic milkers," 27 May 2018 But, for better or worse, these jeans do more accurately service their intended market—another group of people migrating west in hopes of striking it rich. Cam Wolf, GQ, "3x1 Made Jeans for Our Candy-Ass 21st-Century Lifestyle," 25 May 2018 The early days of sea exploration, especially in the Arctic, are filled with accounts of mariners following skeins of migrating geese to make a landfall. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Some words on birds and their impact on Alaska and the rest of the world," 24 June 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

8 Nov 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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