mi·​gra·​to·​ry | \ˈmī-grə-ˌtȯr-ē \

Definition of migratory 

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by migration

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Synonyms & Antonyms for migratory


migrant, mobile


nonmigrant, nonmigratory, resident

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Examples of migratory in a Sentence

most of the apple crop is picked by migratory workers migratory birds heading south for the winter

Recent Examples on the Web

The riparian habitat, along with nearby meadows and oak woodlands, provides range for a local deer herd, along with migratory songbirds. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Hike, bike or camp: Monte Bello can set you free," 1 Mar. 2018 The United States has migratory bird treaties with Canada, Mexico, Russia and Japan. Jordyn Hermani, Indianapolis Star, "Black vultures are eating cows alive. But it's difficult to legally kill the birds.," 13 July 2018 As for its regular feathered inhabitants, the Coastside is blessed with migratory shorebirds, an abundance of gulls, breeding warblers, wintering sparrows, and a richness of raptors. Jill K. Robinson, SFChronicle.com, "5 places to spot birds in Half Moon Bay," 12 July 2018 Fisher said Mary Lee’s tracks follow a predictable migratory loop. Tommy Rowan, Philly.com, "Irrational shark fear you can't escape at the Jersey Shore," 5 July 2018 And nowhere else in the world have scientists found so many shorebirds carrying diverse flu strains as when red knots, ruddy turnstones and other species make their migratory stopover at this bay nestled between New Jersey and Delaware. Washington Post, "Bird flu hot spot: Scientists track virus in huge migration," 28 June 2018 The month sees migratory pelagics such as king mackerel and ling and dorado return to Gulf waters within boaters’ range, drawn by warming temperatures and flourishing forage. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Better days ahead for Texas offshore anglers," 23 June 2018 But in February, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos tightened border controls and stopped issuing new migratory cards in an effort to restrict Venezuelan access to the country. Madeleine Ngo, Vox, "3 things we’ve learned since last year’s World Refugee Day," 20 June 2018 Gulls — there is no single bird called a seagull, which is a colloquial term applied to several types of coastal gulls — were once primarily migratory winter visitors to the state. Billy Baker, BostonGlobe.com, "The gull next door: Some Gloucester residents can’t stand all the seabirds," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'migratory.' 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 migratory

1708, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for migratory

Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for migratory

The first known use of migratory was in 1708

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English Language Learners Definition of migratory

: moving from one place to another at different times of the year : migrating regularly


mi·​gra·​to·​ry | \ˈmī-grə-ˌtȯr-ē \

Kids Definition of migratory

1 : moving from one place to another migratory workers migratory birds

2 : of or relating to migration a bird's migratory route

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Comments on migratory

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a private place of worship

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