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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

But the days when commuters and shoppers followed regular tracks around cities, like migrating birds, appear to be over. The Economist, "Public transport is in decline in many wealthy cities," 21 June 2018 In the waters off New England, where lobster numbers have plummeted south of Cape Cod and surged off the coast of Maine, quotas are controlled by an interstate body, reducing conflict as lobsters have migrated north. David Abel, BostonGlobe.com, "Fish wars loom as climate change pushes lobster, cod, and other species north," 21 June 2018 Junior Aqua Lab, Sunday, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Learn about migrating animals, water properties, phases of the moon, and much more. Jennifer Jhon, South Florida Parenting, "Family fun: Summer workshops, military day, boat show best bets for weekend," 20 June 2018 The video was made by Fraser Shilling, a UC Davis professor nationally known for efforts to get highway transportation departments to build more tunnels as a safety measure of human drivers and migrating animals. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "See the critter 'commuters' using the tunnel under Highway 50," 15 May 2018 At the far west is the Tijuana Estuary, a key salt marsh habitat for some 400 species of migrating birds. Eliza Barclay, Vox, "Congress is quietly letting Trump bulldoze a butterfly refuge to build a border wall," 28 Mar. 2018 That basically describes Joyce, save for migrating away from the Republican Party. Seth A. Richardson, cleveland.com, "Pennsylvania special election shows Ohio congressional districts could be competitive," 15 Mar. 2018 Other parts of this project included building better fish ladders and fish screens to give migrating salmon an easier time navigating around remaining obstacles. Washington Post, "California salmon will have places to chill with dam removal," 8 Mar. 2018 Goldenrods are one of the most important sources of food for migrating butterflies and other pollinators active in early to late fall. Molly Marquand, Good Housekeeping, "8 Weeds You Should Actually Let Grow In Your Yard," 28 July 2016

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about migrate

Statistics for migrate

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for migrate

The first known use of migrate was circa 1623

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!