pil·​grim | \ˈpil-grəm \

Definition of pilgrim 

1 : one who journeys in foreign lands : wayfarer

2 : one who travels to a shrine or holy place as a devotee

3 capitalized : one of the English colonists settling at Plymouth in 1620

Examples of pilgrim in a Sentence

Thousands of Muslim pilgrims traveled to Mecca.

Recent Examples on the Web

Americans are the children of pilgrims, immigrants and slaves. Marco Rubio, WSJ, "Trump Is Right About Nationalism," 13 Nov. 2018 Sent to find her, Thomas schemes his way in among a group of pilgrims headed for a tiny island off Wales, where a group of outcasts practice their own strange pagan religion. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Apostle takes The Wicker Man to a radical new level," 12 Oct. 2018 This was long before all of France had made Marrakech its desert playground, when the first pilgrims were likely to have names like Hermès and Agnelli. Joshua Levine, WSJ, "A Moroccan Retreat With a French Minimalist Spin," 13 Aug. 2018 Of the 558,000 pilgrims who arrived by August 1, Prince Khalid al-Faisal said none of them were from Qatar. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "Vox Sentences: The GOP puts the Kochs on ice," 4 Aug. 2018 These numbers tell me is that many evangelicals are not particularly good at loving strangers, aliens, and pilgrims. Ed Stetzer, Vox, "Fellow evangelicals: stop falling for Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric," 6 Nov. 2018 Other trends are trickling over into holidays, too: Just look at how zombie and pilgrim flamingo lawn ornaments have taken Halloween and Thanksgiving! Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Mermaid Skeletons Are Here to Make a Splash This Halloween," 10 Oct. 2018 As in, flamingos dressed as turkeys dressed as—wait for it—pilgrims. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "You Can't Be In A Fowl Mood After Seeing These Thanksgiving Flamingos," 28 Sep. 2018 There was a giddy, expectant air among the pilgrims. Melissa Lyttle, Smithsonian, "The First Family of Rodeo," 13 Dec. 2017

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pilgrim

Middle English, from Anglo-French pelerin, pilegrin, from Late Latin pelegrinus, alteration of Latin peregrinus foreigner, from peregrinus, adjective, foreign, from peregri abroad, from per through + agr-, ager land — more at for, acre

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Statistics for pilgrim

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pilgrim

The first known use of pilgrim was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for pilgrim



English Language Learners Definition of pilgrim

: someone who travels to a holy place

Pilgrim : one of the people who traveled by boat from England and created the first permanent settlement in New England at Plymouth in 1620


pil·​grim | \ˈpil-grəm \

Kids Definition of pilgrim

1 : a person who travels to a holy place as an act of religious devotion

2 capitalized : one of the English colonists who founded the first permanent settlement in New England at Plymouth in 1620

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More from Merriam-Webster on pilgrim

Spanish Central: Translation of pilgrim

Nglish: Translation of pilgrim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pilgrim for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pilgrim

Comments on pilgrim

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