from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A person with whom one eats regularly, as in a military mess.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An associate in a mess, especially in a ship's mess; one who eats ordinarily at the same table with another.
  • noun In zoology, a commensal.
  • noun In botany, same as messmate-tree.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An associate in a mess.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun nautical an associate with whom one shares a mess (eating place) on a ship

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (nautical) an associate with whom you share meals in the same mess (as on a ship)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • "Ado!" cried Rodney angrily, "is it not bad enough to be called messmate by _you_, and not be able to deny it?"

    The Lifeboat 1859

  • A letter, written by him in 1841 to his old "messmate," Commodore

    James Fenimore Cooper 1901

  • One authority asserts that the bird and the snake are nearly always found together, and seems to imply that a friendship exists between them, for the bird is referred to as a "messmate" of the snake.

    My Tropic Isle 1887

  • But I say, messmate, that is no reason why we should not believe that all these things are; but, on the contrary, that God, who creates and cares for the smallest birds, watches over us also. "

    Peter the Whaler William Henry Giles Kingston 1847

  • "an officers 'mess;" i.e. a meal taken in common at the same table; and so, "to mess together," "messmate," and so on.

    Notes and Queries, Number 39, July 27, 1850 Various

  • He reminded Olmos of his old messmate, Hopi, back in the war.

    365 tomorrows » Jared Axelrod : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day 2006

  • Over large areas, either of two eucalypts, messmate stringybark Eucalyptus obliqua and Smithton peppermint Eucalyptus nitida, is found emergent from rain forest, the former species on the better soils in the east and the latter on the poorer soils mainly in the west.

    Tasmanian Wilderness, Australia 2008

  • He reminded Olmos of his old messmate, Hopi, back in the war.

    365 tomorrows » 2006 » June : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day 2006

  • Dominant species include brown stringybark (Eucalyptus baxteri), manna gum (E. viminalis), messmate stringybark (E. obliqua), and mountain grey gum (E. cypellocarpa).

    Southeast Australia temperate forests 2007

  • Brown stringybark is restricted to soils of low fertility, whereas messmate stringybark becomes more frequent as soil quality improves.

    Southeast Australia temperate forests 2007


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