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[mahy-gruh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈmaɪ grəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
periodically migrating:
a migratory species; migratory workers.
pertaining to a migration:
migratory movements of birds.
roving; nomadic; wandering.
Also, migrative.
Origin of migratory
1745-55; migrate + -ory1
Related forms
nonmigratory, adjective
premigratory, adjective
unmigrative, adjective
unmigratory, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for migratory
  • Words in whatever language came from words in another, migratory or previous and historically overlapping language.
  • The report suggests forming an elephant-conservation body and legal protection for the migratory corridors.
  • Even today little is known of their reproductive habits or migratory movements.
  • migratory tuna are also unlikely candidates for farming.
  • Damning raises temperatures along with preventing migratory species from spawning.
  • Researchers have long wondered whether migratory birds return to their birthplace to breed.
  • Much of the wild population is migratory, though not much is known about their exact routes.
  • Physical remains, rather than linguistic patterns and microbes, are the preferred form of evidence for human migratory maps.
  • The first of a flotilla to come, it carried wind-monitoring equipment as well as radar for tracking migratory birds.
  • Also, geese and sea ducks have changed their migratory routes and schedules.
British Dictionary definitions for migratory


/ˈmaɪɡrətərɪ; -trɪ/
of, relating to, or characterized by migration
nomadic; itinerant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for migratory

1753, from Latin migrat-, past participle stem of migrare "to movefrom one place to another" (see migration) + -ory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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migratory in Science
Traveling from one place to another at regular times of year, often over long distances. Salmon, whales, and swallows are all migratory animals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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