a commercial establishment that provides lodging, food, etc., for the public, especially travelers; small hotel.
a tavern.
(initial capital letter) British.
  1. any of several buildings in London formerly used as places of residence for students, especially law students.Compare Inns of Court.
  2. a legal society occupying such a building.

Origin of inn

before 1000; Middle English, Old English in(n) house; akin to Old Norse inni (adv.) within, in the house
Related formsinn·less, adjective

Synonyms for inn

1. hostelry. See hotel.




a river in central Europe, flowing from S Switzerland through Austria and Germany into the Danube. 320 miles (515 km) long. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inn

Contemporary Examples of inn

Historical Examples of inn

British Dictionary definitions for inn



a pub or small hotel providing food and accommodation
(formerly, in England) a college or hall of residence for students, esp of law, now only in the names of such institutions as the Inns of Court

Word Origin for inn

Old English; compare Old Norse inni inn, house, place of refuge



a river in central Europe, rising in Switzerland in Graubünden and flowing northeast through Austria and Bavaria to join the River Danube at Passau: forms part of the border between Austria and Germany. Length: 514 km (319 miles)
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 inn

Old English inn "lodging, dwelling, house," probably from inne (adv.) "inside, within" (see in). Meaning "public house with lodging" is perhaps by c.1200, certainly by c.1400. Meaning "lodging house or residence for students" is early 13c. in Anglo-Latin, obsolete except in names of buildings that were so used (e.g. Inns of Court, mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper