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

There was a giddy, expectant air among the pilgrims. Melissa Lyttle, Smithsonian, "The First Family of Rodeo," 13 Dec. 2017 In the Middle Ages, the Little Garden Club of the Dardanelles actually imported bubonic plague to discourage pilgrims from stopping by picture-perfect Constantinople on their way to the Holy Land, before things got out of control. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Skip the Selfie and Run: Busy Locales Get Tough With Tourists," 31 May 2018 Speed isn’t the entire justification for the construction of this railway, however; the Haramain is expected to carry three million passengers a year, including many Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, relieving traffic congestion. Cynthia Drescher, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 10 Fastest Trains in the World," 27 Mar. 2018 Female Saudi receptionists welcome pilgrims to Mecca’s hotels. The Economist, "Saudi Arabia is pushing out foreigners to create jobs for locals," 28 Apr. 2018 In 1991, a Nigeria Airways DC-8 carrying Muslim pilgrims crashed at the Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, international airport, killing all 261 people on board. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 11 July 2018 The wood was salvaged from a European copper beech tree that was brought to America in 1820 to honor the bicentennial of the pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock. Chris R. Vaccaro, New York Times, "The Return of the Lady of Lake Ronkonkoma," 5 July 2018 This land has been renewed and its light rekindled with every new wave of immigrants, from the first pilgrims to the most recent waves of refugees and asylum seekers. Said Ahmed-zaid, idahostatesman, "We should treat refugees with humanity and decency, as we are all the human race," 5 July 2018 Varanasi Spiritual ImmersionDavid timed the February visit to India’s holiest city—where Hindu pilgrims come to wash away their sins in the Ganges and cremate their dead—to coincide with Maha Shivratri, the festival of Shiva. Skye Mcalpine, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Ultimate Culinary Tour of India," 12 June 2018

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

4 Oct 2018

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

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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

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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