in·​mate | \ ˈin-ˌmāt How to pronounce inmate (audio) \

Definition of inmate

: any of a group occupying a single place of residence especially : a person confined (as in a prison or hospital)

Examples of inmate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Muslims make up about 6 percent of the total Belgian population but account for more than a third of its prison inmates. Washington Post, "Facing discrimination, tempted by violence," 12 July 2019 One demand—that a Board of Correction task force assessing the quality of life of TGNCNB inmates be established—was met the day it was issued. Mankaprr Conteh, Vogue, "How Layleen Cubilette-Polanco’s Family, the House of Xtravaganza, and Activists Are Mourning and Organizing a Month After Her Death," 12 July 2019 Why close the jail rather than just reduce the number of inmates? Courtney Astolfi,, "Cuyahoga County to close Euclid Jail after mistakenly exceeding facility’s capacity for years," 11 July 2019 The Harford County Detention Center, located on Rock Spring Road north of downtown Bel Air, has an average daily population of about 400 inmates. Erika Butler,, "Harford sheriff announces THRIVE initiative to help reduce number of inmates returning to jail," 11 July 2019 Bottoms signed legislation in May to close and repurpose the jail, citing a declining number of inmates and increased operating costs. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "T.I. has been tapped for a task force that will reimagine an Atlanta city jail," 4 July 2019 The visually arresting sci-fi drama stars Binoche as a scientist and Robert Pattinson as part of a crew of death row inmates exiled into deep space on a mission to extract energy from a black hole. Loren King,, "Scene Here: Vive the MFA’s Boston French Film Festival!," 3 July 2019 Innocence Projects around the country have won exoneration of inmates convicted on the basis of bite marks, a strain of forensic analysis that has been largely discredited. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man exonerated after 23 years in prison says detectives, dentists framed him with bogus bite-mark evidence," 24 June 2019 Yet despite the fact that over half of prison inmates were convicted of a violent crime, most criminal justice reforms exclude those with violent pasts. David J. Harding, Scientific American, "Do Prisons Make Us Safer?," 21 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inmate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inmate

1609, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for inmate

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inmate

The first known use of inmate was in 1609

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More Definitions for inmate



English Language Learners Definition of inmate

: a person who is kept in a prison or mental hospital


in·​mate | \ ˈin-ˌmāt How to pronounce inmate (audio) \

Kids Definition of inmate

: a person confined in an institution (as a hospital or prison)


in·​mate | \ ˈin-ˌmāt How to pronounce inmate (audio) \

Medical Definition of inmate

: one of a group occupying a single place of residence especially : a person confined (as in a psychiatric hospital) especially for a long time

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in·​mate | \ ˈin-ˌmāt How to pronounce inmate (audio) \

Legal Definition of inmate

: a person confined in an institution (as a prison or hospital)

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More from Merriam-Webster on inmate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inmate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inmate

Spanish Central: Translation of inmate

Nglish: Translation of inmate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inmate for Arabic Speakers

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