Definition of Gastarbeiter in US English:



  • A person with temporary permission to work in another country, especially in Germany.

    ‘the Gastarbeiter who sustained the German economic miracle’
    • ‘Another boost to the population of West Germany has been provided by the so-called Gastarbeiter (migrant or immigrant workers), mostly from Turkey, the Balkans, Italy, and Portugal.’
    • ‘Numerous others took the traditional emigrant's path to Britain while others worked as Gastarbeiter on the Continent.’
    • ‘In West Germany the Gastarbeiter who arrived in the 1960s and 1970s came largely from Germany's historic ally, Turkey.’
    • ‘The first Gastarbeiter arrived in Germany in the 1950s, and the largest influx of Algerian-born immigrants came to France in 1956-1957.’
    • ‘Are we going to follow the now partly discarded German model of Gastarbeiter, or guest workers, or are we going to follow the Australian and partly Swedish model of multiculturalism?’
    emigrant, non-native, émigré, migrant, economic migrant, guest worker
    View synonyms


German, from Gast ‘guest’ + Arbeiter ‘worker’.