[ in-kwuh-lahyn, -lin ]
/ ˈɪn kwəˌlaɪn, -lɪn /


Zoology. an animal living in the nest, burrow, or body of another animal.


of the nature of an inquiline.

Origin of inquiline

1635–45; < Latin inquilīnus tenant, equivalent to in- in-2 + -quil-, combining form (noninitially before a front vowel) of colere to live in (see -colous) + -īnus -ine1

Related forms

in·qui·lin·i·ty [in-kwuh-lin-i-tee] /ˌɪn kwəˈlɪn ɪ ti/, nounin·qui·li·nous [in-kwuh-lahy-nuh s] /ˌɪn kwəˈlaɪ nəs/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inquiline

British Dictionary definitions for inquiline


/ (ˈɪnkwɪˌlaɪn) /


an animal that lives in close association with another animal without harming itSee also commensal (def. 1)


of or living as an inquiline

Derived Forms

inquilinism (ˈɪnkwɪlɪˌnɪzəm) or inquilinity (ˌɪnkwɪˈlɪnɪtɪ), nouninquilinous (ˌɪnkwɪˈlaɪnəs), adjective

Word Origin for inquiline

C17: from Latin inquilīnus lodger, from in- ² + colere to dwell
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