[ em-i-greyt ]
/ ˈɛm ɪˌgreɪt /
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verb (used without object), em·i·grat·ed, em·i·grat·ing.

to leave one country or region to settle in another; migrate: to emigrate from Ireland to Australia.



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Origin of emigrate

First recorded in 1770–80; from Latin ēmīgrātus “moved away” (past participle of ēmīgrāre ), equivalent to ē- “from, away from, out of” (see e-1) + mīgrātus (mīgr- “remove” + ātus verb suffix (see -ate1)

synonym study for emigrate

See migrate.


em·i·gra·tive, adjectivere·em·i·grate, verb (used without object), re·em·i·grat·ed, re·em·i·grat·ing.un·em·i·grat·ing, adjective


emigrate , immigrate, migrate (see synonym study at migrate)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does emigrate mean?

Emigrate means to permanently leave home in one country or region to settle in another.

The act or occurrence of emigrating is called emigration. A person who is emigrating or has emigrated can be called an emigrant.

What’s the difference between emigrate, immigrate, and migrate?

To migrate is to move from one place to another (and perhaps back and forth). To emigrate is to move out, and to immigrate is to move in. For this reason, the word emigrate is commonly followed by from and the home country, whereas immigrate is commonly followed by to and the destination country.

Of course, emigrate and immigrate are two ways to describe the same process—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 people to immigrate to, while another may be a place that people are frequently emigrating from.

The words migrate and immigrate 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 emigrate is almost always about the starting point.

Example: The lack of employment has caused a significant number of people to emigrate, with many highly skilled workers leaving the country.

Where does emigrate come from?

The first records of the verb emigrate come from around the 1780s. It comes from the Latin ēmīgrātus, meaning “moved 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 immigrate, the im- part means “in” or “into.”)

The word emigrate 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 emigrate again and again until they settle in some place.

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What are some other forms related to emigrate?

  • emigrant (noun)
  • emigration (noun)
  • emigratory (adjective)
  • emigrative (adjective)
  • reemigrate (verb)

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

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

What are some words emigrate may be commonly confused with?

How is emigrate used in real life?

Emigrate is often discussed in the context of history and economics. The word emigrate is somewhat less commonly used than immigrate and migrate, since those two can be used more generally.



Try using emigrate!

Which of the following people would be the primary subjects of a study of people emigrating 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

Example sentences from the Web for emigrate

British Dictionary definitions for emigrate

/ (ˈɛmɪˌɡreɪt) /


(intr) to leave one place or country, esp one's native country, in order to settle in anotherCompare immigrate

Derived forms of emigrate

emigratory, adjective

Word Origin for emigrate

C18: from Latin ēmīgrāre, from mīgrāre to depart, migrate
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