• synonyms


[mahy-grey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for migration on Thesaurus.com
  1. the process or act of migrating.
  2. a migratory movement: preparations for the migration.
  3. a number or body of persons or animals migrating together.
  4. Chemistry. a movement or change of position of atoms within a molecule.
  5. Physics. diffusion(def 3a).
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Origin of migration

First recorded in 1605–15, migration is from the Latin word migrātīon- (stem of migrātiō). See migrate, -ion
Related formsmi·gra·tion·al, adjectivenon·mi·gra·tion, nounpre·mi·gra·tion, adjectivere·mi·gra·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for migration

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She knew where the Monarch butterfly went on his winter migration.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • The migration of Europeans to the American continent was the final step.

    Introductory American History

    Henry Eldridge Bourne

  • It is scarcely probable that there could have been only one migration of the Persians.

    Les Parsis

    D. Menant

  • Their first migration from Sanjan seems to have been to Cambay (942–997).

    Les Parsis

    D. Menant

  • The three boys were speedily in the midst of preparations for their migration.

    The Boy Settlers

    Noah Brooks

British Dictionary definitions for migration


  1. the act or an instance of migrating
  2. a group of people, birds, etc, migrating in a body
  3. chem a movement of atoms, ions, or molecules, such as the motion of ions in solution under the influence of electric fields
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Derived Formsmigrational, adjective
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 migration


1610s, of persons, 1640s of animals, from Latin migrationem (nominative migratio) "a removal, change of abode, migration," noun of action from past participle stem of migrare "to move from one place to another," probably originally *migwros, from PIE *meigw- (cf. Greek ameibein "to change"), from root *mei- "to change, go, move" (see mutable). Related: Migrational.

That European birds migrate across the seas or to Asia was understood in the Middle Ages, but subsequently forgotten. Dr. Johnson held that swallows slept all winter in the beds of rivers, while the naturalist Morton (1703) stated that they migrated to the moon. As late as 1837 the "Kendal Mercury" "detailed the circumstance of a person having observed several Swallows emerging from Grasmere Lake, in the spring of that year, in the form of 'bell-shaped bubbles,' from each of which a Swallow burst forth ...."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

migration in Medicine


  1. The moving from place to place, as of disease symptoms.
  2. diapedesis
  3. The movement of a tooth or teeth out of normal position.
  4. The movement of one or more atoms from one position to another within a molecule.
  5. The movement of ions between electrodes during electrolysis.

migration in Science