v. mi·grat·ed, mi·grat·ing, mi·grates
v.intr. mi·grat·ed, mi·grat·ing, mi·grates
1. To move from one country or region and settle in another.
2. To change location periodically, especially by moving seasonally from one region to another.
3. Computers To be moved from one system to another: migrated to an updated version of the platform.
To move (something) from one system to another: migrated specific applications to a selected server.
[Latin migrāre, migrāt-; see mei-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: Migrate usually indicates a permanent change of settlement when referring to people and implies historical demographic shifts of great magnitude, as in In the 5th century AD the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes began migrating to England. When referring to birds or other animals, migrate usually indicates a seasonal or other temporary change in habitat. Emigrate and immigrate are used only of people and also imply a permanent move, generally across a political boundary. Emigrate describes the move relative to the point of departure: After the Nazis came to power in Germany, many scientists emigrated. Immigrate describes the move relative to the destination: The promise of prosperity here in the United States encouraged many people to immigrate.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.