Definition of inn in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪn/


[usually in names]
1A pub, typically one in the country, in some cases providing accommodation: the Swan Inn
More example sentences
  • The Dublin pub, inn or tavern has a history which is as old as the city itself.
  • At night, luxuriate at charming inns, sampling Scotch whisky.
  • Until the end of the nineteenth century the majority of darts thrown in inns and taverns in this country and utilised in fairgrounds were imported from France.
1.1 historical A house providing accommodation, food, and drink, especially for travellers.
Example sentences
  • The grand resort hotels, smaller inns, and boarding houses were concentrated on the region's many lakes, nowhere more so than on the two large lakes on the region's eastern edge.
  • We have our choice of lovely motels, hotels, and inns.
  • Petitioners are therefore unlikely to be able to afford stay in hotels or inns while they do their rounds of visits.


Old English (in the sense 'dwelling place, lodging'): of Germanic origin; related to in. In Middle English the word was used to translate Latin hospitium (see hospice), denoting a house of residence for students: this sense is preserved in the names of some buildings formerly used for this purpose, notably Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn, two of the Inns of Court. The current sense dates from late Middle English.

  • An inn was originally any dwelling place or lodging. The word is related to in—an inn is a place you live or stay in. Medieval translators used it for Latin hospitium, meaning ‘a residence for students’. This survives in the Inns of Court in London, the buildings of the four legal societies with the exclusive right of admitting people to the English bar. The usual modern sense of ‘a public house’ dates from the late Middle Ages—an inn specialized in providing accommodation and refreshment for travellers, as opposed to a tavern [ME, from Latin taberna], which was just for drinking. Inmate (late 16th century) was probably originally an ‘inn mate’ and was initially a person who shared a house, specifically a lodger or subtenant. In the 16th and 17th centuries there were strict by-laws about harbouring poor people as inmates: this was a practice that caused the number of local paupers to increase.

Words that rhyme with inn

agin, akin, begin, Berlin, bin, Boleyn, Bryn, chin, chin-chin, Corinne, din, fin, Finn, Flynn, gaijin, Glyn, grin, Gwyn, herein, Ho Chi Minh, in, Jin, jinn, kin, Kweilin, linn, Lynn, mandolin, mandoline, Min, no-win, pin, Pinyin, quin, shin, sin, skin, spin, therein, thin, Tientsin, tin, Tonkin, Turin, twin, underpin, Vietminh, violin, wherein, whin, whipper-in, win, within, Wynne, yin

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