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2017 Word of the Year

refugee

[ref-yoo-jee, ref-yoo-jee] /ˌrɛf yʊˈdʒi, ˈrɛf yʊˌdʒi/
noun
1.
a person who flees for refuge or safety, especially to a foreign country, as in time of political upheaval, war, etc.
Origin of refugee
1675-1685
1675-85; < French réfugié, past participle of réfugier to take refuge. See refuge, -ee
Related forms
refugeeism, noun
prorefugee, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for refugees
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Among all the refugees, there is not one more loyal to the backbone than we.

    Old News Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The refugees were done; the pirates had unsheathed their knives for the butcher's work.

    The House Under the Sea

    Sir Max Pemberton
  • Food, through Jewel's care, had been served out to the refugees.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
  • The house has been full of refugees—Fairfaxes and Fauntleroys.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • This is a small pamphlet written by the son of one of the refugees.

    Old Fort Snelling Marcus L. Hansen
British Dictionary definitions for refugees

refugee

/ˌrɛfjʊˈdʒiː/
noun
1.
  1. a person who has fled from some danger or problem, esp political persecution: refugees from Rwanda
  2. (as modifier): a refugee camp, a refugee problem
Derived Forms
refugeeism, noun
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 refugees

refugee

n.

1680s, from French refugié, noun use of past participle of refugier "to take shelter, protect," from Old French refuge (see refuge). First applied to French Huguenots who migrated after the revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes. The word meant "one seeking asylum," till 1914, when it evolved to mean "one fleeing home" (first applied in this sense to civilians in Flanders heading west to escape fighting in World War I). In Australian slang from World War II, reffo.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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refugees in Culture

refugees definition


People who flee a nation, often to escape punishment for their political affiliations or for political dissent.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Nearby words for refugees

Word Value for refugees

12
14
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