"to quit one country, state, or region and settle in another," 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., also "to remove from one state to another state or territory." Related: Emigrated; emigrating.
updated on September 13, 2020