9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ref-yoo-jee, ref-yoo-jee] /ˌrɛf yʊˈdʒi, ˈrɛf yʊˌdʒi/
a person who flees for refuge or safety, especially to a foreign country, as in time of political upheaval, war, etc.
Origin of refugee
1675-85; < French réfugié, past participle of réfugier to take refuge. See refuge, -ee
Related forms
refugeeism, noun
prorefugee, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for refugees
  • 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.
  • Put marble in the governors office, ask refugees to livein squalor.
  • Even when refugees are able to return home, life is not easy.
  • Some local entrepreneurs and their early employees are themselves refugees from the financial sector.
  • Peace and plentiful land attract refugees from troubled neighboring countries.
  • Despite the number of refugees and their length of stay, there has been little tension between refugees and locals.
  • Expect to see billions of refugees in the not too distant future.
British Dictionary definitions for refugees


  1. a person who has fled from some danger or problem, esp political persecution: refugees from Rwanda
  2. (as modifier): a refugee camp, a refugee problem
Derived Forms
refugeeism, noun
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 refugees



1680s, from French refugié, noun use of past participle of refugier "to take shelter, protect," from Old French refuge (see refuge). First applied to French 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). In Australian slang from World War II, reffo.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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refugees in Culture

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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