from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An animal that characteristically lives commensally in the nest, burrow, or dwelling place of an animal of another species.
  • adj. Being or living as an inquiline.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An animal that lives commensally in the nest, burrow, gall, or dwelling place of an animal of another species.
  • n. An organism that lives within a reservoir of water collected in the hollow of a plant stem or leaf.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A gallfly which deposits its eggs in galls formed by other insects.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In zoology, an animal that lives in an abode properly belonging to another, either at its expense, as certain insects that live in galls made by the true gall-insects, or merely as a cotenant, as a pea-crab which lives in an oyster-shell, or a sea-anemone growing on a crab's back; a commensal. See cut under cancrisocial.
  • Having the character of an inquiline; commensal.


Latin inquilīnus, lodger, tenant : in-, in; see in-2 + colere, to inhabit; see kwel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin inquilīnus ("tenant, lodger") (Wiktionary)


  • A cross-grained trapper with murty odd oogs, awflorated ares, inquiline nase and a twithcherous mouph?

    Finnegans Wake

  • "The diminutive inquiline snailfish (Liparis inquilinus

    Warren Ellis


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  • As with Leoptothorax, the workers have come to possess three simple eyes, and to take on other queen-like features. The effect on the inquiline has gone further here, however, for the male has lost its wings, and begun to assume the appearance, although apparently not the function, of a worker...

    - Caryl P. Haskins, Of Ants and Men, 1939, p. 192

    December 17, 2008