Definition of migrant in US English:



  • 1A person who moves from one place to another, especially in order to find work or better living conditions.

    • ‘On the other hand, some financial interests have argued that Australia needs more migrants to boost economic growth.’
    • ‘Javier investigates the economic and political impact of Mexican migrants in the US on their home country.’
    • ‘We did in fact change the way in which we talked about refugees or migrants or New Australians.’
    • ‘Kocher, who often casts herself as a migrant, displaced from all possible homes, appropriately closes the volume on this ambivalent note.’
    • ‘We changed the immigration policy to recruit more migrants who could meet labour force needs.’
    • ‘This is because the work migrants do adds to the running of the economy.’
    • ‘One particular myth is that migrants and refugees are a ‘drain on our economy’.’
    • ‘These migrants are not being treated as slaves or even as animals - they are being treated worse than that.’
    • ‘The migrants moved to one side of their 33 ft boat and the vessel tipped over.’
    • ‘The migrants got along under the colonial regimes, dealing with powers as they found them.’
    • ‘When land was surveyed and the location of the capital decided most of these migrants moved to Adelaide.’
    • ‘We will not turn our back on these or other migrants contributing so much to our economy and our society.’
    • ‘The first is that there is a fundamental difference between a refugee, who is fleeing persecution, and a migrant, who is seeking a better life.’
    • ‘Movement was driven mainly by the political, economic, social, and professional circumstances of the individual migrant.’
    • ‘He also referred to the economic significance of funds that migrants send back to their countries of origin.’
    • ‘To prevent this happening 12 member countries have put a block on migrants moving there until up to 2011.’
    • ‘We recognise that some migrants, and especially refugees, may have high settlement needs.’
    • ‘Some migrants may prefer the anonymity of the shadow economy to the prospect of dealing with the authorities.’
    • ‘It will also enhance the ability of migrants, refugees, and their families to settle here.’
    • ‘The second project, which is about to be published, documents the plight of refugees and migrants.’
    immigrant, emigrant, incomer, newcomer, asylum seeker, settler, expatriate, expat, exile
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  • 2An animal that migrates.

    • ‘Very pale and worn, the insect was clearly a migrant that had arrived from North Africa on the high pressure zone.’
    • ‘The spring migrants have moved on but the shorebirds haven't yet arrived in force.’
    • ‘Our study focused on the Wood Thrush, a Neotropical migrant that nests in eastern woodlands of North America.’
    • ‘This species is a common passerine long-distance migrant of average size, used previously as a basis for model predictions.’
    • ‘The Myrtle form of Yellow-rumped Warbler is a common migrant and winter resident in Washington.’
    • ‘Although we love our regular yard birds, every spring we are delighted with each migrant that returns to nest with us.’
    • ‘In California, the last of the southbound animals sometimes overlap with the first northbound migrants.’
    • ‘Birds that were altitudinal migrants or local nomads were classified as resident.’


  • attributive Tending to migrate or having migrated.

    ‘migrant birds’
    • ‘To keep their jobs, migrant workers have to tolerate unfair treatment and having their pay withheld which, in turn, encourages employers to skirt the law.’
    • ‘There was no running water and no electricity available to sustain this tiny enclave of fisherman and migrant workers, yet the mood during my visit was upbeat.’
    • ‘Restrictions or bans by certain countries have been placed to protect migrant workers from trafficking and other rights violations.’
    • ‘The normal differences between urban and rural, elite and the rest, apply - with a large group of low-paid migrant workers added in.’
    • ‘This is a lot different from the attitudes revealed in past surveys when migrant workers would not have had any second thoughts before buying the cheapest product available.’
    travelling, wandering, moving, migrating, migratory, expatriate
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