View synonyms for expat


[ eks-peyt ]


, Informal.
  1. an expatriate:

    a favorite hangout for expats.


/ ˌɛksˈpæt /


  1. informal.
    short for expatriate

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of expat1

First recorded in 1960–65; by shortening

Discover More

Example Sentences

If I am an expat looking for health insurance in China, at least I know I am in the right place but I don’t immediately have a reason to choose you.

Some of the area’s larger expat groups haven’t decided if they’re holding events, while others are being cautious.

Facebook groups and other forums dedicated to roaming expats have spread the news, with people asking others for advice as many choose to make the leap to a new country.

From Ozy

After all, a number of countries, from Thailand to Mexico, have a long history of courting expats with traveler-friendly policies.

From Ozy

Local press reports suggest many of those affected were expats — who may have been unaware of their labor rights under Dutch law.

“Expat bankers are definitely into the drugs/hooker scene, and Wan Chai is the very epicenter,” he told The Daily Beast.

Two decades on from his masterpiece on anti-Americanism abroad, Whit Stillman remains obsessed with native-expat dynamics.

In most African expat communities, everyone knows or has heard of each other.

Whispers of their supposed affair were a common among the expat set.

Many have taken jobs and some have even integrated into the expat social circles in Rome and Milan.


Related Words

Discover More

More About Expat

What does expat mean?

Expat is short for expatriate—a person who has moved from their native country to another country permanently or for an extended period of time.

The word expatriate can refer to a person who has been forced to live in another country (such as due to having been exiled or banished), but it most commonly refers to someone who has chosen to relocate to work in the new country or to retire there. Expats may or may not become citizens of the countries they move to, and they may or may not retain their original citizenship.

If the word expat sounds like it has just about the same meaning as the word immigrant, that’s because it does. But expat is used much more narrowly. It can imply (or is at least associated with) a certain amount of wealth and privilege—things not implied by or associated with the word immigrant. The word expat is especially applied to Westerners and used by them to refer to themselves.

The word expat is commonly preceded by the person’s original nationality, as in an American expat in Paris. 

The word expatriate can also be used as a verb and an adjective, but expat is typically used as a noun (though it functions as an adjective in common phrases like expat community).

Example: The city has such a large community of British expats that there are multiple pubs that serve as popular social spots for them.

Where does expat come from?

The first records of the word expat come from the 1960s. It’s a shortening of expatriate, which is first recorded much earlier, in the 1760s, and comes from the Latin expatriāre, meaning “to banish,” from ex-, “out of,” and patria, “native land.” The popularity of the word has increased greatly since the 1990s.

People who are called expats relocate for a number of reasons, but exile isn’t a common one. Instead, they usually move to work in the country or because they simply enjoy what it’s like to live there, such as during retirement. They are known for forming communities in the countries where they move to with other expats from the same native country. Of course, many of these same things can be said about people called immigrants.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to expat?

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


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


How is expat used in real life?

Expat is used informally. It’s often used by expatriate Westerners to refer to themselves (typically to make expatriate sound a bit cooler).



Try using expat!

True or False? 

An expat is always someone who has renounced or has lost their citizenship in their native country.

Word of the Day


[ak-suh-lot-l ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.




ex parteexpatiate