[ ref-yoo-jee, ref-yoo-jee ]
/ ˌrɛf yʊˈdʒi, ˈrɛf yʊˌdʒi /


a person who flees for refuge or safety, especially to a foreign country, as in time of political upheaval, war, etc.

Origin of refugee

1675–85; < French réfugié, past participle of réfugier to take refuge. See refuge, -ee

Related forms

ref·u·gee·ism, nounpro·ref·u·gee, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for refugees

British Dictionary definitions for refugees


/ (ˌrɛfjʊˈdʒiː) /


  1. a person who has fled from some danger or problem, esp political persecutionrefugees from Rwanda
  2. (as modifier)a refugee camp; a refugee problem

Derived Forms

refugeeism, noun
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

Culture definitions for refugees


People who flee a nation, often to escape punishment for their political affiliations or for political dissent.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.