Definition of immigrant in US English:



  • 1A person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.

    • ‘Another theme running through the huge demo was solidarity with refugees and immigrants.’
    • ‘Several immigrant workers drew parallels with their experiences in other countries.’
    • ‘Their parents are often recent immigrants living in low-income communities.’
    • ‘Yet immigrant workers contribute £2.5 billion to the British economy every year.’
    • ‘As I expected, I found that all of the parents are immigrants to this country.’
    • ‘Thousands of people have staged demonstrations across Spain in support of protesting immigrant workers.’
    • ‘My father was an immigrant who came over from Holland after the Nazi occupation.’
    • ‘The churches offered support and shelter to Central American immigrants.’
    • ‘Most of the work available to immigrants without legal papers is sporadic, and underemployment is a problem for many.’
    • ‘When detained immigrants do find lawyers, confinement makes the detainees more difficult to represent.’
    • ‘Politicians in Birmingham have warned that areas with large first-generation immigrant populations are particularly vulnerable to intimidation.’
    • ‘MY great grandparents were all Polish immigrants who arrived in the 19th century in the East End of London.’
    • ‘Many immigrant workers died; they had supported entire families in their home countries.’
    • ‘During these three decades, only 7.5 million immigrants arrived, most after 1945.’
    • ‘Great variation exists in the ways community colleges have responded to the rising immigrant student population on their campuses.’
    • ‘She added that the government was wrong to exclude mainland immigrants from the draft, citing international law.’
    • ‘These parties are not motivated by a defence of the right of immigrants to live where they choose.’
    • ‘And right now, smuggling immigrants across those borders is a booming business.’
    • ‘The wave of German Jewish immigrants during the mid-nineteenth century represented the first major Jewish population explosion in America.’
    • ‘In Saxon terms, the Normans were second or third generation immigrants to Northern France.’
    newcomer, settler, incomer, new arrival, migrant, emigrant
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Biology An animal or plant living or growing in a region to which it has migrated.


Late 18th century: from Latin immigrant- ‘immigrating’, from the verb immigrare, on the pattern of emigrant.