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See more synonyms for inmate on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who is confined in a prison, hospital, etc.
  2. Archaic. a person who dwells with others in the same house.
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Origin of inmate

First recorded in 1580–90; in-1 + mate1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for inmate

prisoner, convict, jailbird, internee

Examples from the Web for inmate

Contemporary Examples of inmate

Historical Examples of inmate

British Dictionary definitions for inmate


  1. a person who is confined to an institution such as a prison or hospitalSee also resident (def. 2)
  2. obsolete a person who lives with others in a house
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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

Word Origin and History for inmate


1580s, "one allowed to live in a house rented by another" (usually for a consideration), from in "inside" + mate "companion." Sense of "one confined to an institution" is first attested 1834.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper