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Origin of expatriate

1760–70; <Medieval Latin expatriātus (past participle of expatriāre to banish), equivalent to ex-ex-1 + patri(a) native land + -ātus-ate1
ex·pa·tri·a·tion, nounself-ex·pa·tri·a·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does expatriate mean?

An expatriate is 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 people who have been forced to live in another country (such as due to having been exiled or banished), but it most commonly refers to people who have chosen to relocate to work in the new country or to retire there. Expatriates 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 expatriate sounds like it has just about the same meaning as the word immigrant, that’s because it does. But expatriate 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 expatriate is especially applied to Westerners and used by them to refer to themselves. A common and informal short form is expat. The act or process of becoming an expatriate is called expatriation.

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

Expatriate can also be used as a verb meaning to withdraw one’s residence in or allegiance to their native country, or to banish a citizen. When expatriate is used as a verb, the last syllable is pronounced like ate [ eyt ].

Expatriate can also be used as an adjective describing a person who has become an expatriate or a person who has been exiled.

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

Where does expatriate come from?

The first records of the word expatriate come from the 1760s. It comes from the Latin expatriāre, meaning “to banish,” from ex-, “out of,” and patria, “native land.”

People referred to as expatriates may be in exile, but the word more commonly refers to those who have relocated for voluntary reasons, such as to work in the country or because they simply enjoy what it’s like to live there. Expatriates—who often call themselves expats—are known for forming communities in the countries where they move to with other expatriates 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 expatriate?

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

 

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

How is expatriate used in real life?

The term expatriate is especially associated with Westerners. It’s commonly preceded with an adjective identifying the original nationality of the person.

 

 

Try using expatriate!

True or False?

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

British Dictionary definitions for expatriate

expatriate

adjective (ɛksˈpætrɪɪt, -ˌeɪt)

resident in a foreign country
exiled or banished from one's native countryan expatriate American

noun (ɛksˈpætrɪɪt, -ˌeɪt)

a person who lives in a foreign country
an exile; expatriate person

verb (ɛksˈpætrɪˌeɪt) (tr)

to exile (oneself) from one's native country or cause (another) to go into exile
to deprive (oneself or another) of citizenship
expatriation, noun
C18: from Medieval Latin expatriāre, from Latin ex- 1 + patria native land
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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