• synonyms


  1. a person, especially a friend, who is a member of a group regularly taking meals together, as in an army camp.
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Origin of messmate

First recorded in 1720–30; mess + mate1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for messmate

Historical Examples

  • Did you not say it was an unpublished song written by a messmate of yours?

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • About noon we passed by "Chantilly," the home of my messmate, Wash.

  • 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

  • Jack did not grudge his messmate the honour, though he liked to be first when he could.

    The Three Midshipmen

    W.H.G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for messmate


  1. a person with whom one shares meals in a mess, esp in the army
  2. Australian any of various eucalyptus trees that grow amongst other species
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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 messmate


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper