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[in-meyt] /ˈɪnˌmeɪt/
a person who is confined in a prison, hospital, etc.
Archaic. a person who dwells with others in the same house.
1580-90; in-1 + mate1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for inmates
  • The project benefits inmates, the environment, and the prisons' budgets.
  • Twice a year, inmates enjoy a rodeo on the prison grounds with barbecues and bull riding.
  • The prison eventually transferred him to a cell with five other inmates, two of them violent crack addicts.
  • Methadone can help opiate-addicted inmates recover, and many countries have embraced it.
  • The amount of effort and patience required to match these asylum inmates with their combat experiences is awe-inspiring.
  • Each rink would be covered with a geodesic dome, built by local prison inmates who would thus gain valuable job skills.
  • The judgment included photos of inmates crammed together, and tiny cages in which some are confined.
  • Overcrowding is so extreme that the prison system this year refused to take in more inmates.
  • He languished for five days in a cell isolated from other inmates, until his health failed.
  • The inmates set the prices for their work, but if they are too high or too low, they are advised to adjust them.
British Dictionary definitions for inmates


a person who is confined to an institution such as a prison or hospital See also resident (sense 2)
(obsolete) a person who lives with others in a house
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
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Word Origin and History for inmates



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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