Legal Dictionary


Legal Definition of expatriate


  1. A person who has abandoned his or her country of origin and citizenship and has become a subject or citizen of another country.

Definition of expatriate


expatriate (not comparable)

  1. Of, or relating to, people who are expatriates.

    an expatriate mailing list


expatriate (plural expatriates)

  1. One who lives outside one's own country.
  2. One who has been banished from one's own country.

Derived terms

  • expat
  • rex-pat, rex-patriate

See also


to expatriate (third-person singular simple present expatriates, present participle expatriated, simple past and past participle expatriating)

  1. (transitive) To banish; to drive or force (a person) from his own country; to make an exile of.
  2. (intransitive) To withdraw from one's native country.
  3. (intransitive) To renounce the rights and liabilities of citizenship where one is born and become a citizen of another country.

Further reading

An expatriate (in abbreviated form, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence. The word comes from the Latin ex (out of) and patria (country, fatherland).


In its broadest sense, an expatriate is any person living in a different country from where he or she is a citizen. In common usage, the term is often used in the context of professionals sent abroad by their companies, as opposed to locally hired staff (who can also be foreigners). The differentiation found in common usage usually comes down to socio-economic factors, so skilled professionals working in another country are described as expatriates, whereas a manual labourer who has moved to another country to earn more money might be labelled an 'immigrant'. There is no set definition and usage does vary depending on context and individual preferences and prejudices.

In the 19th century, Americans, numbering perhaps in the thousands, were drawn to Europe-especially to Munich and Paris-to study the art of painting. Henry James, for instance, was a famous expatriate American writer from the 1870s, who adopted England as his home.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     lex fori
2.     landed property
3.     salacious
4.     lex situs
5.     lex causae
6.     violent crime
7.     conscionable
8.     family court
9.     leasing
10.     public liability