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 Gray whales will once again migrate past the Pacific Northwest this spring, bringing some 25,000 whales to the Oregon coast. oregonlive, "How to go whale watching at the Oregon coast on your own," 18 Mar. 2020 Skateboarders migrated to the city en masse in the 1990s and early 2000s for the same reasons as artists: open minds, temperate weather and cheap rent. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, "Skate craft," 11 Mar. 2020 After a seven-year run with Chip Ganassi Racing, which included 12 top-fives in a four-year stretch, the series veteran migrated to Carlin, a rookie team, in 2018. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Charlie Kimball joins A.J. Foyt Racing as full-time driver for 2020 IndyCar season," 22 Jan. 2020 Restaurants and coffee shops quickly migrated to smartphone home-delivery apps to stay in business. Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "​In Coronavirus Crisis, Korean City Tries Openness, a Contrast to China," 10 Mar. 2020 Additionally, Davis and other researchers have suggested that habitat change has increased physiological stress in migrating monarchs, sapping their endurance during the long fall trek. Gabriel Popkin, Scientific American, "What Is Really Killing Monarch Butterflies?," 1 Mar. 2020 In the Americas, about 20 percent fewer bird species migrate in the simulated coldest ice age climate. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Did birds still migrate during ice ages?," 18 Feb. 2020 Blame it on climate change, but now, the clouds have migrated down to the cheeks. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Cloud Cheek Makeup Is the Prettiest Valentine's Day Beauty Trend," 14 Feb. 2020 Unlike the macrophages that circulate in the blood and look for pathogens, these cells migrate into the heart during embryonic development and remain there for the rest of their lives. Quanta Magazine, "Immune Cell Assassins Reveal Their Nurturing Side," 11 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for migrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of migrate was circa 1623

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Statistics for migrate

Last Updated

28 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Migrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/migrate. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for migrate


How to pronounce migrate (audio) How to pronounce migrate (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for migrate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with migrate

Spanish Central: Translation of migrate

Nglish: Translation of migrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of migrate for Arabic Speakers

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