verb (used without object), im·mi·grat·ed, im·mi·grat·ing.
  1. to come to a country of which one is not a native, usually for permanent residence.
  2. to pass or come into a new habitat or place, as an organism.
verb (used with object), im·mi·grat·ed, im·mi·grat·ing.
  1. to introduce as settlers: to immigrate cheap labor.

Origin of immigrate

First recorded in 1615–25, immigrate is from the Latin word immigrātus (past participle of immigrāre to move into). See im-1, migrate
Related formsim·mi·gra·tor, nounun·im·mi·grat·ing, adjective
Can be confusedemigrate immigrate migrate (see synonym study at migrate)

Synonym study

1. See migrate. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for immigrator


  1. (intr) to come to a place or country of which one is not a native in order to settle thereCompare emigrate
  2. (intr) (of an animal or plant) to migrate to a new geographical area
  3. (tr) to introduce or bring in as an immigrant
Derived Formsimmigratory, adjectiveimmigrator, noun

Word Origin for immigrate

C17: from Latin immigrāre to go into, from im- + migrāre to move
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

Word Origin and History for immigrator



1620s, from Latin immigratum, past participle of imigrare "to remove, go into, move in," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + migrare "to move" (see migration). Related: Immigrated; immigrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper