mi·​gra·​to·​ry | \ ˈmī-grə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce migratory (audio) \

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

But the Stikine River delta, which is accessible from Wrangell by jetboat, is a great place to spy millions of migratory shorebirds. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska’s spring festivals make great getaway trips from Anchorage," 4 Mar. 2018 In winter, this is a resting spot for migratory shorebirds. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sunday getaway to Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline," 14 Jan. 2018 In 2007 Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, situated in a major bird migratory region, became the first U.S. airport to install such a system, reports the Wall Street Journal. Cynthia Drescher, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Airports Keep Birds Away," 5 Nov. 2018 Human history is a messy, migratory affair, much too complicated to track simply via DNA. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test can and can’t teach us about ancestry," 15 Oct. 2018 But migratory species still spend a lot of time in Africa and therefore around African pathogens. Asher Elbein, New York Times, "Some Birds Are Better Off With Weak Immune Systems," 25 June 2018 The developments are alarming ecologists who have spent years studying the migratory birds, rare plants, insects and mammals that call the DMZ home. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "If You Think North Korea Is a Wild Place, Check Out the DMZ," 3 Dec. 2018 Former environment secretary Jose Luis Luege said the government is already draining Lake Nabor Carrillo, a shallow 2,265 acres (917 hectare) lake that provides a major habitat for migratory birds. Mark Stevenson, Fox News, "Protesters: New Mexico City airport will hurt environment," 23 Aug. 2018 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

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

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for migratory

The first known use of migratory was in 1708

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More Definitions for migratory



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 How to pronounce migratory (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on migratory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with migratory

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for migratory

Spanish Central: Translation of migratory

Nglish: Translation of migratory for Spanish Speakers

Comments on migratory

What made you want to look up migratory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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