Definition of immigrant in US English:



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

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