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pilgrim

[pil-grim, -gruh m] /ˈpɪl grɪm, -grəm/
noun
1.
a person who journeys, especially a long distance, to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion:
pilgrims to the Holy Land.
2.
a traveler or wanderer, especially in a foreign place.
3.
an original settler in a region.
4.
(initial capital letter) one of the band of Puritans who founded the colony of Plymouth, Mass., in 1620.
5.
a newcomer to a region or place, especially to the western U.S.
Origin of pilgrim
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English pilegrim, pelegrim, cognate with Old Frisian pilegrīm, Middle Low German pelegrīm, Old High German piligrīm, Old Norse pīlagrīmr, all < Medieval Latin pelegrīnus, dissimilated variant of Latin peregrīnus peregrine
Related forms
pilgrimatic, pilgrimatical, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for pilgrim
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The pilgrim is well met; he will go to swell the contents of my vivarium.

  • He has no longer the choice whether to be a pilgrim in the desert or to stay at home.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • He stood in the doorway and watched while the pilgrim saddled his horse and rode away.

    The Long Shadow B. M. Bower
  • And the pilgrim made answer that he was hard by, washing his wounds at a fountain.

  • Cockle hat and staff were distinguishing marks of a pilgrim.

  • The pilgrim looked at him searchingly and sank down on the lounge.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
British Dictionary definitions for pilgrim

pilgrim

/ˈpɪlɡrɪm/
noun
1.
a person who undertakes a journey to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion
2.
any wayfarer
Word Origin
C12: from Provençal pelegrin, from Latin peregrīnus foreign, from per through + ager field, land; see peregrine

Pilgrim

/ˈpɪlɡrɪm/
noun
1.
See Canterbury Pilgrims (sense 2)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pilgrim
n.

c.1200, pilegrim, from Old French pelerin, peregrin "pilgrim, crusader; foreigner, stranger" (11c., Modern French pèlerin), from Late Latin pelegrinus, dissimilated from Latin peregrinus "foreigner" (source of Italian pellegrino, Spanish peregrino), from peregre (adv.) "from abroad," from per- "beyond" + agri, locative case of ager "country" (see acre).

Change of first -r- to -l- in most Romance languages by dissimilation; the -m appears to be a Germanic modification. Pilgrim Fathers "English Puritans who founded Plymouth colony" is first found 1799 (they called themselves Pilgrims from c.1630, in reference to Hebrew xi:13).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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