Definition of inmate in English:


Line breaks: in¦mate
Pronunciation: /ˈɪnmeɪt


  • 1A person living in an institution such as a prison or hospital: inmates of the Louisiana State Penitentiary
    More example sentences
    • In recent times, actions against prison authorities by inmates have become increasingly common.
    • The next crime for which I would sanction the death penalty is the murder of either a prison officer or another inmate whilst serving a life sentence.
    • It is a prison that does not require these new powers to allow prison officers to control inmates.
    patient, inpatient, hospital case; convalescent; resident, inhabitant, occupantprisoner, convict, captive, detainee, internee
    informal jailbird, con
    British informal lag
    North American informal yardbird
  • 1.1 archaic One of several occupants of a house.
    More example sentences
    • When asked about reality television she tells me she was interested in Big Brother when Germaine Greer was an inmate of the house.
    • There is a wonderful scene at the start of Lukas Moodysson's film when the inmates of the house argue about the washing up.
    • The interiors of these houses and their inmates corresponded with the exteriors.


late 16th century (denoting a person who shared a house, specifically a lodger or subtenant): probably originally from inn + mate1, later associated with in.

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