I'm looking for a term (or terms) to describe a person who leaves a group (or organisation), and then later re-joins.

Something like a "re-joiner" perhaps?

For example, a "leaver" is someone who leaves or has left, and an "onboarder" or "inductee" may describe a new-starter. My language is British English, but it doesn't really matter.

Example sentence as per the comments, "Mr ABC is a _____; he left in February but returned back in May". Or, the actual usage in my own field:

Person A: "Is he a new starter or a leaver?"

Person B: "No, he's a _____; he left, then came back two months later"

  • 2
    As the single-word-requests tag's description requests, please add an example sentence. – Irhala Nov 24 '16 at 16:22
  • 4
    returnee works in many contexts. – FumbleFingers Nov 24 '16 at 16:22
  • Example sentence added – EvilDr Nov 24 '16 at 18:16

As suggested by @Fumblefingers, returnee may work. It certainly fits your context.


returnee: someone who returns to a place or activity

Your example:

Person A: "Is he a new starter or a leaver?"

Person B: "No, he's a returnee; he left, then came back two months later."

You could also consider comebacker (or come-backer or come backer). It might work for your purposes. I can imagine describing so and so as a comebacker.

  • That fits perfectly. A word I never knew existed. Thank you. – EvilDr Nov 25 '16 at 9:37

That would be a


or a

readmitee on a legal context.

  • Okay thanks. What is that term when applied to the person? For example, he's a "readmittee"? – EvilDr Nov 24 '16 at 18:19
  • 1
    I updated the answer to add readmitee as an alternative for a legal context. – daniloquio Nov 24 '16 at 18:34
  • Nice, thank you. Are there any other alternatives that are slightly less formal? This is a good word though; I've never heard of it before... – EvilDr Nov 24 '16 at 18:39
  • Then you are probably stuck with the down voted "prodigal son". At least on the three languages I'm very familiar with, anybody would get the idea on the fly. – daniloquio Nov 24 '16 at 18:45


I had seen it used to describe reentering college students. But the Oxford Dictionary says

2 A person who has re-entered something, especially the labor force.


I'd probably tend to returner, but I'd also suggest that there's no one specific term to describe the situation.

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