Definition of repatriate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Send (someone) back to their own country.

    ‘the United Nations hopes to repatriate all the refugees’
    • ‘It wants to repatriate all non-European foreigners.’
    • ‘He did not see active service during the war, but drove ambulances for the American Field Service and at war's end worked in Calcutta to repatriate prisoners of war.’
    • ‘He fears that he will not be able to do the same if he is repatriated now.’
    • ‘Minister McDowell is also busy repatriating illegal immigrants.’
    • ‘But slowly, both for financial and logistical reasons, it appeared that repatriating the whole family to Belgium for two months was not the perfect solution either.’
    • ‘The small country on the west coast of Africa was concocted, in 1822, by a group of American Quakers and slaveholders looking to repatriate former slaves, to give them a better shot at freedom.’
    • ‘It does indeed seem counterintuitive to continue the heartbreaking and futile process of militarizing the area, bullying and repatriating people like the two men we see taking a furtive, impromptu bath at a hotel fountain in Matamoros.’
    • ‘The end of the war, a veteran's education scheme and the shortage of shipping space for repatriating Canadian soldiers gave him the opportunity to go up to Cambridge.’
    • ‘Foreign ships relayed the news and some called in at Japanese ports to deliver relief supplies and repatriate foreigners who wished to leave.’
    • ‘According to the peace accord, Zimbabwe must repatriate its troops.’
    • ‘During the 1990s, major efforts in Eritrea centered around rebuilding the country and repatriating refugees.’
    • ‘Hong Kong's Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee proposed to Beijing on Wednesday repatriating mainland-born prisoners, but the proposal would not be reciprocal for Hong Kong people serving terms in mainland China.’
    • ‘The representatives in Zaire from the World Bank have sent a memo to Washington in which they report that it was abandoning its factory and repatriating its staff.’
    • ‘Erskine, the Quaker, offered to serve as a stretcher-bearer, but the British Embassy refused to repatriate people not prepared to join the armed forces.’
    expulsion, expelling, banishment, banishing, exile, exiling, transportation, transporting, extradition, extraditing, expatriation, expatriating, repatriation, repatriating, refoulement
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object Return to one's own country.
      ‘the majority came to America as migrant workers who intended to repatriate to Hungary’
      • ‘While many foreign students do repatriate, some of the best and brightest stay here to teach or find other employment.’
      • ‘Although most Ethiopians maintain positive sentiments toward their former country, very few opt to repatriate.’
      • ‘The trauma of June 4, 1989, inspired them to repatriate and found businesses with a mission.’
      • ‘The outcomes are such that people repatriate with their family when they've formerly been at odds with them.’
      • ‘The next wave of immigrants came during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with the intention of repatriating after four or five years with enough capital to make themselves into prosperous farmers.’
    2. 1.2with object Send or bring (something, especially money) back to one's own country.
      ‘foreign firms would be permitted to repatriate all profits’
      • ‘Companies would pay tax on those revenues in the year they are earned, rather than when they repatriate the money back to the U.S. In return, they would get a tax-rate reduction.’
      • ‘All loans could be converted into investment funds and be repatriated through the ‘Financial’ Rand, but suffering the loss of the difference between the two currencies.’
      • ‘Large sums could be repatriated and reinvested in this country if an amnesty were announced.’
      • ‘Secondly, foreigners might refuse to roll over loans to a country and repatriate the repaid funds.’
      • ‘It has also cut deeply into the profits of U.S. multinational companies, as those earnings are repatriated back in the U.S.’
      • ‘Along with the US, it could become a monopoly consumer of services and even repatriate revenue that doctors in developing countries earned from treating local patients.’
      • ‘Direct foreign investment flows into India were further liberalised in 1996 and firms have been permitted to repatriate any profits earned back overseas.’
      • ‘These amnesties are allowing German, Italian and Portuguese taxpayers to repatriate their money back to their home countries, with a modest levy, and an amnesty for past non-compliance with domestic tax laws.’
      • ‘Japanese investors are repatriating their money as a result of a decline in the yen.’
      • ‘This will make repatriating the finances much easier if you decide to sell or refinance at a later date.’
      • ‘If investors have decided they want to repatriate sterling assets, now is a good a time to sell given current strength of sterling.’
      • ‘The company also arranges finance and works with Zhong Lun law firm, the biggest such firm in China, which ensures that both title, capital and profits can be repatriated from China.’
      • ‘This type of risk is arising from a decision of a foreign government to restrict capital movements, which would make it difficult to repatriate profits, dividends or capital.’
      • ‘A falling dollar makes US assets less attractive to foreigners because repatriated profits are worth less when changed to the home currency.’
      • ‘Just as European institutions are repatriating investments from the U.S., so U.S. institutions are repatriating money from the euro zone, where stocks have been hammered, too.’
      • ‘The levy was revised in February 1999 and only imposed on profits made from portfolio investments that were repatriated within one year.’
      • ‘Profits are also allowed to repatriated freely without dividend balancing.’
      • ‘He subsequently repatriated his money and made voluntary contact with the Revenue Commissioners.’
      • ‘Restrictions could make it difficult to repatriate profits, dividends, or capital.’
      • ‘If the U.S. pushes too hard, Japan can threaten to repatriate the assets, leaving the U.S. economy in dire straits.’


  • A person who has been repatriated.

    • ‘He did not mourn his personal sin, of course, but that of his fellow repatriates - who had been freed from captivity only to inter-marry with idolatrous Canaanites.’
    • ‘To that end, USAID has provided capital and training in message delivery to 32 radio stations throughout Afghanistan, including a commercial radio station network run by Afghan repatriates.’
    • ‘The dissatisfaction of the repatriates with the North Korean authorities was reaching the limit of their patience.’
    • ‘It asks that the repatriates be turned over to the commission after the armistice.’
    • ‘These repatriates could only return to the United States as one of the annual quota of 50 immigrants.’
    • ‘Moore collaborates with cardiologists, neurologists, ophthalmologists and other health-care providers to care for repatriates.’
    • ‘Illegal migrants who are caught by the Immigration and Naturalization Service are usually deported back to Guatemala, where they may face dangerous situations as repatriates.’
    • ‘The council downplayed the security considerations, maintaining that any information that German repatriates might provide would ‘be more of a discouragement than of assistance to their compatriots.’’
    • ‘The U.S. government routinely repatriates suspects held in places where Western legal norms are not entirely shared.’
    • ‘In the late 1990s, individual dwellings became popular among postwar repatriates from Japan, who, through financial support from their families remaining in Japan, are able to purchase houses.’
    • ‘It offers an advice service to older Irish people who are living abroad and repatriates those who are anxious to return home.’
    • ‘This week another group of repatriates left town near the border with Congo Brazzaville.’
    • ‘After the war some 5000 Germans left Australia: 696 deported, the remainder voluntary repatriates.’
    • ‘Both Australian students of the subject and returnees confirm that repatriates do find life difficult in Australia when they return.’
    • ‘Enemy prisoners, former Russian POWs, civilian repatriates, and the civilian criminal and political prisoners collectively made up the convict labour force of several million souls.’
    • ‘One area of concern for repatriates is their return to work.’
    • ‘But she received no promotions because of discrimination against repatriates, she said.’
    • ‘Tourism is the third largest source of foreign exchange in the country, after repatriates and garments.’
    • ‘As a project director with the United Nations Development Fund for Women she assessed the needs of Lao and Hmong refugee women repatriates in Laos and in the refugee camps in Thailand.’
    • ‘Major deportations of Sinti and Roma were halted so as to give priority to the deportation of Jews, whose homes were needed for ethnic German repatriates.’


Early 17th century (earlier ( late 16th century) as repatriation): from late Latin repatriat- ‘returned to one's country’, from the verb repatriare, from re- ‘back’ + Latin patria ‘native land’.