[ref-yoo-jee, ref-yoo-jee]
a person who flees for refuge or safety, especially to a foreign country, as in time of political upheaval, war, etc.

1675–85; < French réfugié, past participle of réfugier to take refuge. See refuge, -ee

refugeeism, noun
prorefugee, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
refugee (ˌrɛfjʊˈdʒiː)
a.  a person who has fled from some danger or problem, esp political persecution: refugees from Rwanda
 b.  (as modifier): a refugee camp; a refugee problem

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1685, from Fr. refugié, prop. pp. of refugier "to take shelter, protect," from O.Fr. refuge (see refuge). First applied to Fr. Huguenots who migrated after the revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes. The word meant "one seeking asylum," till 1914, when it evolved
to mean "one fleeing home" (first applied in this sense to civilians in Flanders heading west to escape fighting in World War I).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

refugees definition

People who flee a nation, often to escape punishment for their political affiliations or for political dissent.

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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Example sentences
He took up shelter in a canvas tent provided to all the arriving refugees.
People who are trapped by war or persecution within their own countries need
  help as much as, or more than, official refugees.
Many of the refugees suffered horrendous atrocities along the way.
Natural disasters occur yearly on all continents, leaving hundreds of thousands
  dead and turning millions into refugees.
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