Definition of emigrate in US English:



[no object]
  • Leave one's own country in order to settle permanently in another.

    ‘Rosa's parents emigrated from Argentina’
    • ‘So far as I can ascertain he never returned to Ireland after emigrating in 1873.’
    • ‘The brothers were born on the Isle of Man and moved to Manchester in the 1950s, before emigrating to Australia in 1958.’
    • ‘On emigrating to the US,he was actively involved in sporting organisations in the Big Apple.’
    • ‘Herschel settled in the area after emigrating from Germany.’
    • ‘Prior to emigrating to England in the 1950s, Martin worked on the family farm.’
    • ‘He arrived in Chippenham in 1963 at the age of 20, after emigrating from Foggio in Southern Italy.’
    • ‘Suddenly they moved, telling neighbours they were emigrating to the US.’
    • ‘Many citizens with higher education were trained abroad and they often emigrate permanently.’
    • ‘She studied with Preobrajenska as a child in Paris, where her parents settled after emigrating from Russia.’
    • ‘First, skilled workers are legally emigrating, temporarily or permanently, to rich countries.’
    • ‘Their reasons for emigrating in the first place were mostly economic and the tales of fortunes to be made abroad spurred them on.’
    • ‘According to a recent survey, fewer Irish people are emigrating to America than at any time for more than 200 years.’
    • ‘Then his family emigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago.’
    • ‘They collaborated on three plays and a travel book before emigrating to America together in January 1939.’
    • ‘In his early years, he emigrated to Leeds and after some years married and settled there.’
    • ‘For the past five years we have had 150,000 or so more people immigrating each year than emigrating.’
    • ‘In the late 1800s east European Jews emigrating to the USA brought the bagel with them.’
    • ‘In 1983, Arnold Schwarzenegger became a US citizen, 14 years after emigrating from Austria.’
    • ‘They performed from an early age, impressing audiences in the north west before emigrating to Australia in 1958.’
    • ‘She added that the couple were originally from Blackburn, but had worked for three years in Manchester before emigrating.’
    move abroad, move overseas, leave one's country, migrate
    View synonyms


To emigrate is to leave a country, especially one's own, intending to remain away. To immigrate is to enter a country, intending to remain there: my aunt emigrated from Poland and immigrated to Canada


Late 18th century: from Latin emigrat- ‘emigrated’, from the verb emigrare, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out of’ + migrare ‘migrate’.