inmate (plural inmates)
- A person confined to an institution such as a prison (as a convict) or hospital (as a patient).
- A person who shares a residence (such as a hotel guest, a lodger, or a student living on campus), or other place.
- 1852 July, Herman Melville, “Book XVI. First Night of Their Arrival in the City.”, in Pierre: Or, The Ambiguities, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, […], OCLC 12230558, section I, pages 312–313:
- [T]he inmates of the coach, by numerous hard, painful joltings, and ponderous, dragging trundlings, are suddenly made sensible of some great change in the character of the road.
Perhaps around 1970, television journalists began to use the word as a euphemism for prisoner, and this has become the primary, if not only, definition among younger generations. When speaking of persons receiving medical services, patient may be preferred instead.