Definition of refugee in English:



  • A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

    ‘tens of thousands of refugees fled their homes’
    [as modifier] ‘a refugee camp’
    • ‘As we got closer, we realised that it was a bus stand that had been turned into a refugee camp.’
    • ‘The foreign minister said Iran already uses a lot of money to support Afghan refugees who have fled to Iran.’
    • ‘The government wants to dump refugees into camps in isolated areas around Britain.’
    • ‘As a refugee, he can be deported only if he is a danger to national security or to the community.’
    • ‘Immigrants and refugees are not likely to be people who have lived in affluent suburbs.’
    • ‘The current scare over migrants and refugees is just as racist and irrational.’
    • ‘Amnesty International has called on countries to stop sending refugees back there.’
    • ‘They want to present a picture of refugees getting much better services than other people.’
    • ‘Every one of the refugees had a harrowing story of why they had been driven to flee the homes they loved.’
    • ‘I have been really shocked by what the Labour government has done to refugees in Britain.’
    • ‘This man was a Russian refugee whose family was used as forced labor by the Nazis.’
    • ‘The government could have chosen to challenge the persistent lies about refugees.’
    • ‘Most of the major unions have now passed policies supporting the rights of refugees.’
    • ‘They could then face deportation even though they have been recognised as refugees.’
    • ‘We are always being told about how many asylum seekers and refugees are coming to this country.’
    • ‘Many people are leaving the refugee camps for fear of disease, camping out in the ruins of their homes.’
    • ‘The experience of refugees in British society has given rise to a number of plays in recent years.’
    • ‘Five million Palestinians are refugees out of a total population of eight million.’
    • ‘We hear next to nothing of the refugee camps, the economic and social embargoes and the massacres.’
    • ‘Labour's concession to those who try to scapegoat refugees and migrants is shameful.’
    displaced person, dp, escapee, fugitive, asylum seeker, runaway, exile, émigré, stateless person, outcast, returnee
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Late 17th century: from French réfugié gone in search of refuge, past participle of ( se) réfugier, from refuge (see refuge).