from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A religious devotee who journeys to a shrine or sacred place.
  • noun A person who travels, especially to foreign lands or to a place of great personal importance.
  • noun One of the English Separatists who founded the colony of Plymouth in New England in 1620.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To journey or travel as a pilgrim; undertake or accomplish a pilgrimage.
  • noun A traveler; specifically, one who journeys to some place esteemed sacred, either as a penance, or in order to discharge some vow or religious obligation, or to obtain some spiritual or miraculous benefit; hence, a wanderer; a sojourner in a foreign land.
  • noun In American history, specifically, one of the English separatists who sailed from Delfthaven (in the Netherlands) in the “Mayflower,” touching at Southampton, England, and founded the colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts, at the end of 1620.
  • noun A new-comer, whether a person or an animal; a “tenderfoot.”
  • noun A curtain or screen of silk hanging from the back of a woman's bonnet to protect the neck, worn in the latter part of the eighteenth century.
  • noun In modern times, a carved pearl shell such as are brought by travelers from the Holy Land.
  • noun In heraldry, same as bourdon.
  • Of, pertaining to, used by, or characteristic of a pilgrim, or one who travels to a sacred place in performance of some religious duty; wandering as a pilgrim; consisting of pilgrims.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to a pilgrim, or pilgrims; making pilgrimages.
  • adjective a name popularly given to the one hundred and two English colonists who landed from the Mayflower and made the first settlement in New England at Plymouth in 1620. They were separatists from the Church of England, and most of them had sojourned in Holland.
  • noun A wayfarer; a wanderer; a traveler; a stranger.
  • noun One who travels far, or in strange lands, to visit some holy place or shrine as a devotee. See Palmer.
  • intransitive verb rare To journey; to wander; to ramble.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One who travels, especially on a journey to visit sites of religious significance.
  • verb intransitive To journey; to wander; to ramble.

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

  • noun someone who journeys to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion
  • noun someone who journeys in foreign lands
  • noun one of the colonists from England who sailed to America on the Mayflower and founded the colony of Plymouth in New England in 1620


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

[Middle English, from Old French peligrin, from Late Latin pelegrīnus, alteration of Latin peregrīnus, foreigner; see peregrine.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English (early 13th century) pilegrim, from Old French pelegrin (11th century), from Latin peregrinus ("foreigner") (English peregrine ("wandering")), a derivation from per-egre; see per- + agri ("field, farm") (from which English agri- ("farming")).


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  • The herald said: 'This king for whom you grieve

    Governs in glory you cannot conceive -

    A hundred thousand armies are to Him

    An ant that clambers up His threshold's rim,

    And what are you? Grief is your fate - go back;

    Retrace your steps along the pilgrims' track!'

    - Farid ud-Din Attar, 'The Conference of the Birds', translation by Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis.

    November 23, 2008

  • Who would true valor see,

    Let him come hither;

    One here will constant be,

    Come wind come weather.

    There's no discouragement

    Shall make him once relent

    His first avow'd intent

    To be a pilgrim.

    September 20, 2009