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[mes-meyt] /ˈmɛsˌmeɪt/
a person, especially a friend, who is a member of a group regularly taking meals together, as in an army camp.
Origin of messmate
First recorded in 1720-30; mess + mate1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for messmate
Historical Examples
  • This was Tom Goldsmith, a messmate, and the very man under whose rug I had been sleeping, at quarters.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I was only wondering, sir, whether him or she had a messmate down in the hole.

    Dead Man's Land George Manville Fenn
  • Holloa, messmate, cast here a few coppers to help to revictual a hulk all the doctors in the world could not refit for sea!

  • This to his companions, while Smith stood looking on in horror, and turned to his messmate.

    Fire Island G. Manville Fenn
  • I got paid off, and then I met my messmate, and we had some talk about the matter.

    Varney the Vampire Thomas Preskett Prest
  • Wriggs chuckled, and his messmate went on, but frowned and scowled at him all the time.

    Fire Island G. Manville Fenn
  • messmate o' mine on the Bedford, and afore that on the Vesuvius bomb.

    The Adventures of Harry Revel Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • We mix them nicely up here, and throw in a thief for a messmate.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • I should enjoy it more if I had a messmate to talk to about it.

    Mountain Moggy William H. G. Kingston
  • “I belonged to her at the time,” said my messmate Dick Hagger.

    Will Weatherhelm W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for messmate


a person with whom one shares meals in a mess, esp in the army
(Austral) any of various eucalyptus trees that grow amongst other species
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for messmate

1746, from mess (n.) + mate (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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