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 His father, Kimoi Arap Chebii, was a herdsman whose ancestors had migrated from the slopes of Mount Kenya to avoid conflict with the Maasai tribe in the 19th century, according to Kenya’s presidency. David Herbling, Bloomberg.com, "Daniel Arap Moi, Strongman Who Ruled Kenya for 24 Years, Has Died," 10 May 2020 Nationally, the same picture emerged, with goods and services being produced in clusters near cities, to which labour migrated from the hinterlands. S Gopikrishna Warrier, Quartz India, "Decentralisation and equitable growth: Two lessons for India from the Covid-19 pandemic," 3 May 2020 The velvet ash, black walnut and cottonwood trees along Leslie Creek are important to migrating birds as well as home to two native Rio Yaqui fish species. Debra Utacia Krol, azcentral, "Feds want to open or expand hunting on 4 national wildlife refuges in Arizona," 11 Apr. 2020 Another report, written in October, simulated a pandemic that migrates from China to the United States and infects 30% of U.S. residents. Thomas Frank, Scientific American, "FEMA Report Warned of Pandemic Vulnerability Months Before COVID-19," 10 Apr. 2020 The group began migrating en masse to the United States following the end of Southeast Asian conflicts in the 1970s: the Vietnam War and Secret War in Laos in 1975, and against the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia in 1979. NBC News, "Decades after resettlement, Cambodian refugees vulnerable to prison-to-deportation pipeline," 27 Apr. 2020 In the eighteen-sixties, a tiny aphid-like bug called phylloxera migrated from California to Europe, nearly pulping the French wine industry; in the nineteen-fifties, Panama disease eradicated the world’s favorite variety of banana, the Gros Michel. Kate Brown, The New Yorker, "The Pandemic Is Not a Natural Disaster," 13 Apr. 2020 The large birds migrate all over the country, depending on the season, with most making a stop along Nebraska’s Platte River. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "Watch the Majestic Migration of Thousands of Sandhill Cranes on This Nebraska Sanctuary's Livestream," 11 Apr. 2020 These insects move with the wind, and can migrate as far as 150 kilometers in one day. Neha Wadekar, Quartz Africa, "Two new generations of locusts are set to descend on East Africa again—400 times stronger," 10 Apr. 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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Migrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/migrate. Accessed 6 Jun. 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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