pil·​grim·​age | \ ˈpil-grə-mij How to pronounce pilgrimage (audio) \

Definition of pilgrimage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a journey of a pilgrim especially : one to a shrine or a sacred place
2 : the course of life on earth


pilgrimaged; pilgrimaging

Definition of pilgrimage (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to go on a pilgrimage

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for pilgrimage

Synonyms: Verb

journey, peregrinate, tour, travel, trek, trip, voyage

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of pilgrimage in a Sentence


He made a pilgrimage to Mecca. The tradition of pilgrimage is important in Islam. The family went on a pilgrimage to historical battlefields. The poet's grave site has become a place of pilgrimage.


tourists pilgrimaging to all of the traditional destinations across Europe
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Poor security and economic chaos in the country have prevented progress in moving forward on the mine, which also sits on an ancient Buddhist pilgrimage site. ___ Associated Press writer Gillian Wong contributed to this report. Christopher Bodeen, Fox News, "China says no plans to deploy troops to Afghanistan," 30 Aug. 2018 Boudhanath is a popular pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists, and a huge tourist attraction in Kathmandu. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Beautiful Sacred Sites Around the World," 29 Mar. 2018 There have always been fans who make pilgrimages to the holiest sites on their sports bucket lists. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The NBA Honeymooners From Japan: 13 Games in 13 Nights," 16 Jan. 2019 Located in the small town of Crawford, about 30 minutes away from Waco, the spot would be the perfect home base for your 2019 pilgrimage Magnolia Market. Lindsey Ramsey, House Beautiful, "You Can Rent This Fixer Upper Farmhouse For $350 A Night," 30 Dec. 2018 As travel got cheaper and communication technologies tightened connections between nations, fans began making pilgrimages to significant sites and to meet one another, particularly after World War II. Nancy Baym, WIRED, "Book Excerpt: How Music Fans Built the Internet," 10 July 2018 Representatives from the Bruins, Lightning, Sharks and Stars each made pilgrimages too, attempting to sell Tavares on sunshine or cold cash, immediate hopes or future plans, this or that. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "In Joining an Up-and-Coming Maple Leafs Squad, John Tavares Gets to Live Out His Dream," 2 July 2018 Welcome to couture week: the annual Parisian pilgrimage during which ballgowns are larger-than-life, leg reveals are de rigueur, and the temperatures are low. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Breakout Beauty Trend That’s Sweeping the Front Row at Couture," 23 Jan. 2019 The locals who’ve been around for a while are used to it — hearing about neo-Nazi skinheads making an annual pilgrimage here every Dec. 8. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "‘Bucolic’ Whidbey Island surprised at skinhead headlines — and recent Lynnwood assault," 31 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pilgrimage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of pilgrimage


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pilgrimage

Share pilgrimage

Statistics for pilgrimage

Last Updated

24 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pilgrimage

The first known use of pilgrimage was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pilgrimage



English Language Learners Definition of pilgrimage

: a journey to a holy place
: a journey to a special or unusual place


pil·​grim·​age | \ ˈpil-grə-mij How to pronounce pilgrimage (audio) \

Kids Definition of pilgrimage

: a journey made by a pilgrim

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on pilgrimage

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


a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!