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pilgrim

[pil-grim, -gruh m] /ˈpɪl grɪm, -grəm/
noun
1.
a person who journeys, especially a long distance, to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion:
pilgrims to the Holy Land.
2.
a traveler or wanderer, especially in a foreign place.
3.
an original settler in a region.
4.
(initial capital letter) one of the band of Puritans who founded the colony of Plymouth, Mass., in 1620.
5.
a newcomer to a region or place, especially to the western U.S.
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English pilegrim, pelegrim, cognate with Old Frisian pilegrīm, Middle Low German pelegrīm, Old High German piligrīm, Old Norse pīlagrīmr, all < Medieval Latin pelegrīnus, dissimilated variant of Latin peregrīnus peregrine
Related forms
pilgrimatic, pilgrimatical, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pilgrims

Pilgrim Fathers

plural noun
1.
the Pilgrim Fathers, the English Puritans who sailed on the Mayflower to New England, where they founded Plymouth Colony in SE Massachusetts (1620)

pilgrim

/ˈpɪlɡrɪm/
noun
1.
a person who undertakes a journey to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion
2.
any wayfarer
Word Origin
C12: from Provençal pelegrin, from Latin peregrīnus foreign, from per through + ager field, land; see peregrine

Pilgrim

/ˈpɪlɡrɪm/
noun
1.
See Canterbury Pilgrims (sense 2)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pilgrims
pilgrim
c.1200, pilegrim, from O.Fr. pelegrin (11c.), from L. peregrinus "foreigner," from peregre (adv.) "from abroad," from per- "beyond" + agri, locative case of ager "country" (see acre). Change of first -r- to -l- in Romance languages by dissimilation. Pilgrim Fathers "English Puritans who founded Plymouth colony" is first found 1799 (they called themselves Pilgrims from c.1630, in allusion to Heb. xi.13).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pilgrims in Culture

Pilgrims definition


A group of English Puritans, persecuted in their own country, who emigrated to America. The first group arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. They landed at Plymouth Rock, in what is now Massachusetts, and established the Plymouth Colony, with the Mayflower Compact as their constitution. William Bradford and Miles Standish were noted leaders of the colony.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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