mi·​grate | \ ˈmī-ˌgrāt How to pronounce migrate (audio) , mī-ˈgrāt How to pronounce migrate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce migrator (audio) , mī-​ˈgrā-​ \ 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

Bacteria can then migrate through the intestinal wall, stimulating myeloid cells and also increasing the risk of poststroke infections. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, "New Method for Tackling Stroke Restrains an Overactive Immune System," 2 July 2019 In the early days of the PC, for example, early multimedia functions were accelerated by Native Signal Processing and Intel’s Multimedia Instruction Set (MMX), then migrated to dedicated sound and graphics cards. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "How the Intel Ice Lake processor's new AI powers will improve your PC," 27 May 2019 The group then migrated to the cocktail bar for more conversation and an after-party. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "To Celebrate Their New Resort Line, Camilla Stærk and Helena Christensen Host a Rum-Soaked and Sun-Dappled Weekend in Puerto Rico," 18 Apr. 2019 The research suggests that the cavemen migrated eastwards from Europe to Siberia and indicated that their ancestors might be an as-yet-undiscovered group. Fox News, "Some of oldest Neanderthal bones have been DNA tested showing more than 70 differences," 26 June 2019 The seasons were cut short to protect the population of Chinook salmon that were born in or migrated from the Sacramento River Delta during the 2014-16 drought, so much that the 2016 and 2017 seasons were declared federal disasters. Tara Duggan, SFChronicle.com, "California fishermen report the biggest salmon season in a decade," 21 June 2019 That top layer of moist soil keeps water in the lower horizons from migrating up to the surface to be evaporated away. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Hate to break it to you, but you're already not watering your garden enough," 7 June 2019 Every spring, when the temperature begins to reach 65 degrees or above, this particular species of ladybugs mates before migrating from the Sierra Nevada to the valley to lay their eggs and be surrounded by a plethora of food. Tainaya Nash, House Beautiful, "An 80-Mile-Wide Swarm of Ladybugs Have Taken Over the SoCal Sky," 7 June 2019 Or the story begins decades earlier than that, in French Algeria, where Eddy’s grandfather fought, and from which Reda’s father migrated to Paris. Jason Farago, The New York Review of Books, "J’Accuse!," 18 Apr. 2019

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

19 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce migrate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce migrate (audio) , mī-ˈ How to pronounce migrate (audio) \
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-​ How to pronounce migratory (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on migrate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with migrate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for migrate

Spanish Central: Translation of migrate

Nglish: Translation of migrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of migrate for Arabic Speakers

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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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