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From French réfugié, past participle of réfugier (to take refuge), describing early French protestants seeking refuge.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɹɛfjʊdʒiː/, /ɹɛfjʊˈdʒiː/
  • Rhymes: -iː
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refugee (plural refugees)

  1. A person seeking refuge in a foreign country out of fear of political persecution or the prospect of such persecution in his home country, i.e., a person seeking a political asylum.
  2. A person seeking refuge due to a natural disaster.
  3. A person formally granted a political or economic asylum by a country other than his home country.

Derived terms[edit]


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See also[edit]


refugee (third-person singular simple present refugees, present participle refugeeing, simple past and past participle refugeed)

  1. (transitive, US, historical) To convey (slaves) away from the advance of the federal forces.