[pil-grim, -gruh m] /ˈpɪl grɪm, -grəm/

a person who journeys, especially a long distance, to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion:
pilgrims to the Holy Land.
a traveler or wanderer, especially in a foreign place.
an original settler in a region.
(initial capital letter) one of the band of Puritans who founded the colony of Plymouth, Mass., in 1620.
a newcomer to a region or place, especially to the western U.S.
a person who undertakes a journey to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion
any wayfarer
See Canterbury Pilgrims (sense 2)

c.1200, pilegrim, from Old French pelerin, peregrin “pilgrim, crusader; foreigner, stranger” (11c., Modern French pèlerin), from Late Latin pelegrinus, dissimilated from Latin peregrinus “foreigner” (source of Italian pellegrino, Spanish peregrino), from peregre (adv.) “from abroad,” from per- “beyond” + agri, locative case of ager “country” (see acre).

Change of first -r- to -l- in most Romance languages by dissimilation; the -m appears to be a Germanic modification. Pilgrim Fathers “English Puritans who founded Plymouth colony” is first found 1799 (they called themselves Pilgrims from c.1630, in reference to Hebrew xi:13).

A group of English Puritans, persecuted in their own country, who emigrated to America. The first group arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. They landed at Plymouth Rock, in what is now Massachusetts, and established the Plymouth Colony, with the Mayflower Compact as their constitution. William Bradford and Miles Standish were noted leaders of the colony.


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