Definition of pilgrim in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɪlɡrɪm/


1A person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons.
Example sentences
  • For Goddess pilgrims, as for orthodox religious pilgrims, the sacred place is a place of power which can work upon the pilgrim at various levels of their being.
  • Nonetheless, pilgrims of whatever religious belief often find the hike to be one of the most spiritually meaningful events of their lives.
  • Along the way Clark relates the stories of 11th-century religious pilgrims alongside her contemporary journey of rediscovery.
visitor to a shrine, worshipper, devotee, believer, traveller, wayfarer, crusader;
Islam  haji, alhaji
historical palmer
1.1A person travelling to a place of particular personal interest: thousands of pilgrims converged in Memphis for the 16th anniversary of Presley’s death
More example sentences
  • Literary pilgrims will find a plaque on the wall commemorating their time there.
1.2chiefly literary A person regarded as journeying through life: we should recognize our status as mere pilgrims in this world
More example sentences
  • Ivan Illich is both a pilgrim and an intellectual pioneer.
2 (usually Pilgrim) A member of the Pilgrim Fathers.
Example sentences
  • This is a monument dedicated in 1910 to commemorate the first landing of the Pilgrims in 1620 at Provincetown, where they wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact.
  • The Geneva Bible is the version that would have been most familiar to the older generation of Pilgrims.

verb (pilgrims, pilgriming, pilgrimed)

[no object, with adverbial of direction] archaic
Travel or wander like a pilgrim: he pilgrimed to his old sporting places
More example sentences
  • On Sunday night I pilgrimed to Dundas to see Pernell Goodyear and the Freeway with Darryl and Charlene Dash.
  • I think I have to pilgrim to Urbanville, but not til the semester's over.
  • The cobbled streets aged from the many feet that pilgrim to the popular spot.



(also pilgrimise) verb ( archaic)
Example sentences
  • The Guoqing Temple, the ancestral temple of Tiantai-sect of the Japanese and Korean Buddhism, is where over 3.00 million Tiantai-sect Buddhists in Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia pilgrimize.
  • Indian and Nepali citizens holding ordinary passport should join a pilgrimage group if planning to pilgrimize in Tibet.


Middle English: from Provençal pelegrin, from Latin peregrinus 'foreign' (see peregrine).

  • This is one of the earliest words that came into English from French, just after the Norman Conquest in 1066. It goes back to Latin peregrinus, ‘foreign, alien’, the source of peregrinate ‘to wander from place to place’, and of peregrine. The peregrine falcon was called the ‘pilgrim falcon’ because falconers caught individuals fully grown on migration rather than taking them from the nest. The Pilgrim Fathers were the English Puritans who sailed across the Atlantic in the Mayflower and founded the colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pil|grim

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