1778, a back-formation from emigration, or else from Latin emigratus, past participle of emigrare "move away, depart from a place," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + migrare "to move" (from PIE root *mei- (1) "to change, go, move"). In 19c. U.S., "to remove from one state to another state or territory." Related: Emigrated; emigrating.
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