from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A flight to escape danger.
  • n. The flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 A.D., marking the beginning of the Muslim era.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A journey taken to escape from danger; an exodus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The flight of Mohammed from Mecca, September 13, a. d. 622 (subsequently established as the first year of the Moslem era); hence, any flight or exodus regarded as like that of Mohammed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See hejira.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a journey by a large group to escape from a hostile environment
  • n. the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 which marked the beginning of the Muslim era; the Muslim calendar begins in that year


Medieval Latin, from Arabic hijra, emigration, flight, from hajara, to depart; see hgr in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Arabic breaking-off (Wiktionary)


  • While keeping the above definitions in mind---I want to provide some more background--As my previous posts indicated--the muslims of Mecca had been persecuted in Mecca and they eventually fled to Medina--the event is called the hegira and the start Year one of the muslim calender.

    Islam in Sunday School

  • Kahlil started in again on his epic, the hegira that had brought him from Lebanon to Egypt and Italy and Spain via the ports and the jails.

    September 17 , 2004

  • Yet, palpitating and real, shimmering in the sun-flashed dust of ten thousand hoofs, she saw pass, from East to West, across a continent, the great hegira of the land-hungry


  • Before we embarked on our hegira, I had given niece Felice the assignment of researching Elvis' life and extreme death.

    Never Been Down to Lonely Street

  • Their good-riddances competed with one tape that played over and over and over for the entire journey, a new album by the Grateful Dead that had become the leitmotif of their hippie hegira.


  • The childrens 'headlong hegira for the door was immediate except for Speranz, who missed a precious couple of seconds in slow comprehension.


  • The piece tracked the hegira back to the city by sophisticated urbanites who left their McMansions to return to Tribeca (rhymes with "Mecca").

    The future of newspapers (cont'd) ...

  • This, to borrow a name from the most memorable instance of outward change marking inward revolution, was the decisive hegira, from which the philosophy of destruction in a formal shape may be held seriously to date.


  • The Mahometans have no certain chronology before their hegira.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • Rather than spark a wholesale hegira back to the central city, big gas and electricity bills are more likely to produce a bracing new era of innovation in suburban and even exurban life.

    Hail to the Suburban Oasis


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  • Joni Mitchell apparently preferred hejira.

    March 30, 2009

  • I thought this word would have some similarity to exodus, but this word is from Arabic, which is significantly closer to Hebrew than exodus, which is from Greek.

    August 14, 2007

  • "A journey by a large group to escape from a hostile environment"

    August 13, 2007