mi·​gra·​to·​ry ˈmī-grə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce migratory (audio)
: of, relating to, or characterized by migration

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 In addition to hitting South America, the virus has devastated seabird colonies in Europe, followed migratory birds south into Africa and jumped the Atlantic Ocean to infect even the regal California Condor. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 12 Feb. 2024 The 2-hour journey includes opportunities to see sea lions, Humboldt penguins, and an array of migratory birds, along with the Candelabra of the Andes, a mysterious geoglyph that stands watch over the Ica coastline. The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors, Bon Appétit, 7 Feb. 2024 One last, even more easily overlooked, bit of hummingbird news — January is when the migrant hummingbirds start returning from the south, a few months earlier than the majority of migratory birds. Jack Gedney, The Mercury News, 15 Jan. 2024 Bird Day also celebrates the annual northbound flight of nearly 350 species of migratory birds stopping in South Florida on their return to North America from the Caribbean, Central and South America and Mexico. Christina Mayo, Miami Herald, 31 Jan. 2024 Experts say bird flu is spread by ducks, geese and other migratory birds. Terry Chea The Associated Press, arkansasonline.com, 28 Jan. 2024 Other animals have also exhibited similar feats of wakefulness; scientists have observed male Pectoral Sandpipers, members of a migratory shorebird species, spending up to 95 percent of their time awake and active during their three-week breeding season. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 25 Jan. 2024 Activity at feeders is probably highest overall in winter, with the loss of our small number of migratory hummingbirds outweighed by the relative scarcity of natural flowers and insects, which encourages birds to visit our feeders. Jack Gedney, The Mercury News, 15 Jan. 2024 That’s more than a quarter of all birds lost in less than a lifetime, most of them migratory species that journey thousands of miles each year. Julie Wraithmell, Sun Sentinel, 2 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'migratory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1708, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of migratory was in 1708

Dictionary Entries Near migratory

Cite this Entry

“Migratory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/migratory. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


mi·​gra·​to·​ry ˈmī-grə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce migratory (audio)
: having a way of life that includes making migrations
migratory workers

More from Merriam-Webster on migratory

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