in·​qui·​line ˈin-kwə-ˌlīn How to pronounce inquiline (audio)
: an animal that lives habitually in the nest or abode of some other species

Examples of inquiline in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An animal that takes advantage of another's living space is called an inquiline. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 31 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inquiline.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin inquilinus tenant, lodger, from in- + colere to cultivate, dwell — more at wheel

First Known Use

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of inquiline was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near inquiline

Cite this Entry

“Inquiline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


in·​qui·​line ˈin-kwə-ˌlīn, ˈiŋ-, -lən How to pronounce inquiline (audio)
: an animal (as the house mouse) that lives habitually in the nest or abode (as a human dwelling) of some other species
inquilinism noun

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