- a person who journeys, especially a long distance, to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion: pilgrims to the Holy Land.
- a traveler or wanderer, especially in a foreign place.
- an original settler in a region.
- (initial capital letter) one of the band of Puritans who founded the colony of Plymouth, Mass., in 1620.
- a newcomer to a region or place, especially to the western U.S.
Origin of pilgrim
Examples from the Web for pilgrims
We are pilgrims, our life is a long walk or journey from earth to heaven.Decoding Vincent Van Gogh’s Tempestuous, Fragile Mind
December 7, 2014
After all, Spanish conquistadors arrived in the early 1500s, well before the Jamestown settlers in 1607 or the Pilgrims in 1620.Keep the Holiday, Lose Columbus
October 13, 2014
In Mauritania, Chinguetti once flourished with scholars, pilgrims, and religious leaders.The Lost Libraries of the Sahara
September 11, 2014
Some are pilgrims from out of town, come to savor the best granola on the West Coast.Finding Food Heaven on the Cali Coast
Jane & Michael Stern
August 17, 2014
Last year, more than 20,000 pilgrims visited for the November anniversary.Did the Virgin Mary Warn Rwanda’s Holiest Town of the Genocide?
April 20, 2014
Pilgrims to Vaucluse must be prepared to pay dear for the privilege.The Roof of France
We are all pilgrims and wanderers; but it is strange that we two should meet.Passages from a Relinquished Work (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
It was but too clearly indicated by the bands of pilgrims, going or returning.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
She is extremely busy; she has to see after some pilgrims who are very ill.
In this way a great many offerings were brought by the pilgrims.
- a person who undertakes a journey to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion
- any wayfarer
Word Origin and History for pilgrims
c.1200, pilegrim, from Old French pelerin, peregrin "pilgrim, crusader; foreigner, stranger" (11c., Modern French pèlerin), from Late Latin pelegrinus, dissimilated from Latin peregrinus "foreigner" (source of Italian pellegrino, Spanish peregrino), from peregre (adv.) "from abroad," from per- "beyond" + agri, locative case of ager "country" (see acre).
Change of first -r- to -l- in most Romance languages by dissimilation; the -m appears to be a Germanic modification. Pilgrim Fathers "English Puritans who founded Plymouth colony" is first found 1799 (they called themselves Pilgrims from c.1630, in reference to Hebrew xi:13).
A group of English Puritans, persecuted in their own country, who emigrated to America. The first group arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. They landed at Plymouth Rock, in what is now Massachusetts, and established the Plymouth Colony, with the Mayflower Compact as their constitution. William Bradford and Miles Standish were noted leaders of the colony.