[ em-i-gruhnt ]
/ ˈɛm ɪ grənt /
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a person who emigrates, as from his or her native country or region: They welcomed the emigrants from Italy.
emigrating; leaving a country or region to settle in another.
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Origin of emigrant

First recorded in 1745–55, Americanism; from Latin ēmigrant- (stem of ēmigrāns ) “moving away” (present participle of ēmigrāre ), equivalent to ē- “from, out of” + migrant- (migr-, stem of migrāre “to remove” + -ant- suffix forming nouns and adjectives from verbs); see e-1, -ant)


non·em·i·grant, noun, adjectiveun·em·i·grant, adjective


emigrant , immigrant, migrant

Words nearby emigrant

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does emigrant mean?

An emigrant is a person who has emigrated or is emigrating—permanently leaving home in one country or region to settle in another.

The act or occurrence of emigrating is called emigration.

What’s the difference between emigrant, immigrant, and migrant?

A migrant is a person who moves from one place to another (and perhaps back and forth). An emigrant is someone who moves away, while an immigrant is someone who moves in. For this reason, the word emigrant is often followed by from and the home country, whereas immigrant is often followed by to and the destination country.

Of course, emigrant and immigrant often refer to the same person—people who are emigrating are also immigrating (if they leave, they have to go somewhere).

But there are good reasons to use each word in different situations. For example, one country may be a common destination for immigrants, while another may experience the frequent departure of emigrants.

The words migrant and immigrant are more likely to be used to describe such relocation in a general way (that is, a way that takes both the starting point and the destination into account), whereas emigrant is almost always used in reference to the place that has been left.

Less commonly, emigrant can be used as an adjective to mean in the process of emigrating, as in emigrant peoples. 

Another word for an emigrant is émigré, which especially refers to an emigrant who has fled their country due to political conditions.

Example: The lack of employment has caused a significant number of emigrants  to leave the country in search of jobs.

Where does emigrant come from?

The first records of the verb emigrant come from around 1750. It was first used in the United States. It comes from the Latin ēmīgrāns, meaning “moving away.” This word derives from the Latin verb ēmīgrāre, from mīgrāre, meaning “to depart” or “to move from place to place.” The e part means “out of” or “from.” (In immigrant, the im- part means “in” or “into.”)

The word emigrant typically implies movement out of one country into another (as opposed to movement out of a city or state into another one in the same country). Most countries track statistics about such movement, especially in relation to how it may affect their economies. Although emigrate implies a permanent departure, a person may be an emigrant again and again until they settle in some place.

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What are some other forms related to emigrant?

What are some synonyms for emigrant?

What are some words that share a root or word element with emigrant

What are some words that often get used in discussing emigrant?

What are some words emigrant may be commonly confused with?

How is emigrant used in real life?

Emigrants are often discussed in the context of history and economics. The word emigrant is somewhat less commonly used than immigrant and migrant, since those two can be used more generally.



Try using emigrant!

Which of the following people would be the primary subjects of a study of emigrants from Germany to France?

A. People who have left France to live in Germany
B. People who have left Germany to live in France
C. People who move back and forth between Germany and France
D. People who have left Germany to vacation in France

How to use emigrant in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for emigrant

/ (ˈɛmɪɡrənt) /

  1. a person who leaves one place or country, esp a native country, to settle in anotherCompare immigrant
  2. (as modifier)an emigrant worker
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