Definition of pilgrim in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpilɡrəm/ /ˈpɪlɡrəm/


  • 1A person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons.

    • ‘For Goddess pilgrims, as for orthodox religious pilgrims, the sacred place is a place of power which can work upon the pilgrim at various levels of their being.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, pilgrims of whatever religious belief often find the hike to be one of the most spiritually meaningful events of their lives.’
    • ‘Along the way Clark relates the stories of 11th-century religious pilgrims alongside her contemporary journey of rediscovery.’
    • ‘The authors imagine a female pilgrim visiting the sacred sites of the city.’
    • ‘Wherever there was room on the banks of this sacred Pamba river, pilgrims were busy doing something.’
    • ‘Like the well, corporate worship provides a vital resource to help Christian pilgrims along their journey of faith.’
    • ‘In this deeply religious country, pilgrims make the journey on foot from long distances to visit the churches of Lalibela.’
    • ‘Many of the pilgrims and sadhus carry plastic sheets and umbrellas over their heads.’
    • ‘No need was felt to perform religious rites for the dead pilgrims and devotees.’
    • ‘Congregations are bands of pilgrims on a journey.’
    • ‘One section of the media gave too much spate to the proposed visits of some of the Hollywood stars, as if their coming was more important than the coming of millions of devout Hindu pilgrims.’
    • ‘Religious pilgrims are trampling the grounds of the El Carmen monastery in the Sierra del Nixcongo Mountains near Mexico City.’
    • ‘Although he found little success in making souvenirs and trinkets for religious pilgrims; one item in his line did bring some profit and spurred the printing idea.’
    • ‘Islamists revere the hajj, the religious pilgrim who relinquishes his earthly possessions in order to fulfill the commands of God.’
    • ‘So, if a resident of Jeddah offers the pilgrimage, he or she should do the tawaf of farewell at the end of their pilgrimage, like all pilgrims who come from outside Makkah.’
    • ‘Hundreds of pilgrims at the Kaaba I finally reached Makkah - the place of pilgrimage - brimming with pilgrims.’
    • ‘Andrea, who has Down Syndrome, has apparently displayed a sort of religious telepathy to the pilgrims who show up.’
    • ‘Last week, the Cabinet unilaterally relaxed curbs on the travel of businesspeople and religious pilgrims between Kinmen and Matsu and cities in Fujian Province.’
    • ‘The hajj links pilgrims with Muslims around the world symbolically, ritually, and politically.’
    • ‘As it is so inaccessible, Bardsey plays host to the serious-minded: religious pilgrims and committed birdwatchers, and the occasional passing artist.’
    visitor to a shrine, worshipper, devotee, believer, traveller, wayfarer, crusader
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A member of a group of English Puritans fleeing religious persecution who sailed in the Mayflower and founded the colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.
      • ‘Massachusetts, where the pilgrims and puritans landed, has just ruled that gay people can marry.’
      • ‘The Mayflower pilgrims were sent back to sea from the coast of Massachusetts, because the immigration quotas were full.’
      • ‘The Bronsville turkey was a wild kind that those pilgrims, who sailed on the famous Mayflower, took a taste to.’
      • ‘From the pilgrims on the Mayflower to our newest waves of immigrants, for more than 300 years, people have come to America to give their children a chance at a better life.’
      • ‘His follower, John Winthrop, aboard the Arbella en route to Massachusetts, exhorted the pilgrims to invest their own welfare in each other.’
      • ‘His present denomination is that of the pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620.’
      • ‘The entire expanse of Europe was not large enough to contain the dissenting spirit of William Bradford and his band of Mayflower pilgrims.’
    2. 1.2A person who travels on long journeys.
    3. 1.3literary A person regarded as journeying through life.

verbpilgrims, pilgriming, pilgrimed

archaic no object, with adverbial of direction
  • Travel or wander like a pilgrim.

    ‘he pilgrimed to his old sporting places’
    • ‘On Sunday night I pilgrimed to Dundas to see Pernell Goodyear and the Freeway with Darryl and Charlene Dash.’
    • ‘I think I have to pilgrim to Urbanville, but not til the semester's over.’
    • ‘The cobbled streets aged from the many feet that pilgrim to the popular spot.’


Middle English from Provençal pelegrin, from Latin peregrinus ‘foreign’ (see peregrine).



/ˈpilɡrəm/ /ˈpɪlɡrəm/