"an emigrant," applied specifically to royalists and others who fled France during the 1789 revolution, 1792, from French émigré "an emigrant," noun use of past participle of émigrer "emigrate" (18c.), from Latin emigrare "depart from a place" (see emigration). Originally used of royalist refugees from the French Revolution; extended 1920s to refugees from the Russian Revolution, then generally to political exiles.
ÉMIGRÉS Earned their livelihood by giving guitar lessons and mixing salads.
[Flaubert, "Dictionary of Received Ideas"]
updated on September 13, 2020