pil·​grim | \ ˈpil-grəm How to pronounce pilgrim (audio) \

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 Locals credited the Madonna of the Bridge with performing miracles, including saving a 17th-century pilgrim on the bridge by stopping bullets fired by a Florentine assassin. New York Times, 28 Dec. 2021 That is one of the reasons that led me to come as a pilgrim in your midst, to thank you and to confirm you in your faith and witness. Andrew Bernard, Washington Examiner, 11 Mar. 2021 Though centuries have passed since the last Mayflower pilgrim was entrusted to the earth in a makeshift Massachusetts cemetery, the symbolic freight of the ship and its voyage has only grown. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 26 Nov. 2020 The plague was also carried down the well-trodden paths of medieval pilgrims; holy sites became additional epicenters of regional, national, and international propagation. National Geographic, 23 Apr. 2020 In Jerusalem, where thousands of pilgrims usually participate in the march, this year was limited to a handful of participants. BostonGlobe.com, 5 Apr. 2020 One of the most vulnerable is Iraq, which receives a quarter of its imports from Iran and where tens of millions of Iranian pilgrims travel every year for visits to Shiite shrines. Los Angeles Times, 25 Feb. 2020 There were no throngs of pilgrims below his window in Saint Peter’s Square, no visible celebration of any kind to be found inside the walls of Vatican City. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 16 May 2020 Shielding Mecca from the pandemic is crucial for the Saudi royal family, which grounds its rule in guardianship of the birthplace of Islam that's visited by millions of Muslim pilgrims each year. Kathleen Hunter, Bloomberg.com, 10 May 2020 See More

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.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Pilgrim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pilgrim. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for pilgrim


pil·​grim | \ ˈpil-grəm How to pronounce pilgrim (audio) \

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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