[verb in-turn; noun in-turn]

verb (used with object)

to restrict to or confine within prescribed limits, as prisoners of war, enemy aliens, or combat troops who take refuge in a neutral country.
to impound or hold within a country until the termination of a war, as a ship of a belligerent that has put into a neutral port and remained beyond a limited period.


a person who is or has been interned; internee.

Origin of intern

1865–70; < French interner, verbal derivative of interne intern3



noun Also interne.

a resident member of the medical staff of a hospital, usually a recent medical school graduate serving under supervision.
Education. student teacher.
a person who works as an apprentice or trainee in an occupation or profession to gain practical experience, and sometimes also to satisfy legal or other requirements for being licensed or accepted professionally.

verb (used without object)

to be or perform the duties of an intern.

Origin of intern

1875–80, Americanism; < French interne < Latin internus intern3



adjective Archaic.

Origin of intern

1570–80; < Latin internus inward, equivalent to inter- inter- + -nus adj. suffix; see extern Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for intern

resident, doctor, student, trainee, immure

Examples from the Web for intern

Contemporary Examples of intern

Historical Examples of intern

  • I would recommend her to an intern, who is under great obligations to me.

    Germinie Lacerteux

    Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

  • Eight years of school and two more as an intern were worth at least that.

    The Lani People

    J. F. Bone

  • Our fears coming uppermost, we gave voice to them: "Intern?"

  • In the list of birds now fully extinct, in the Proceedings of the Fourth Intern.

    Extinct Birds

    Walter Rothschild

  • They ought to intern everyone who's the least bit under suspicion.

British Dictionary definitions for intern



(ɪnˈtɜːn) (tr) to detain or confine (foreign or enemy citizens, ships, etc), esp during wartime
(ˈɪntɜːn) (intr) mainly US to serve or train as an intern

noun (ˈɪntɜːn)

another word for internee
Also: interne med, US and Canadian a graduate in the first year of practical training after medical school, resident in a hospital and under supervision by senior doctorsBritish equivalent: house officer
mainly US a student teacher
mainly US a student or recent graduate receiving practical training in a working environment

adjective (ɪnˈtɜːn)

an archaic word for internal

Word Origin for intern

C19: from Latin internus internal
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 intern

1866, "to confine within set limits," from French interner "send to the interior, confine," from Middle French interne "inner, internal," from Latin internus "within, internal" (see internal; also cf. intern (n.)).


1879, American English, "one working under supervision as part of professional training," especially "doctor in training in a hospital," from French interne "assistant doctor," literally "resident within a school," from Middle French interne "internal" (see intern (v.)). The verb in this sense is attested from 1933. Related: Interned; interning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

intern in Medicine



An advanced student or recent graduate who assists in the medical or surgical care of hospital patients and who resides within that institution.


To train or to serve as an intern.
Related formsintern•ship′ n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.