What's a word to refer to unrelated people living in the same house? By this, I mean that they are not spouses or blood-related.

Basically what's the "house" version of "room-mates"?

I've thought of "cohabitant", "coresident", or even "housemate" but these words give the connotation that the persons involved are related.

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    Housemates are quite common around here. I don't infer any particular relationship from that, beyond living together. Why do you think it has that connotation? – Bradd Szonye Oct 31 '13 at 4:13
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    Yes, housemate is the term you want. – Jim Oct 31 '13 at 4:20
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    Housemate certainly does not connote relationship. In the US, roommate and housemate are increasingly used interchangeably. If you want a more formal term, cotenant fits the bill if the person shares lessee responsibilities. – Jimi Oke Oct 31 '13 at 5:06
  • @BraddSzonye, (2) of dictionary.reference.com/browse/housemate – Pacerier Oct 31 '13 at 7:26
  • Strange, I've never heard it used that way, and clearly neither have the other folks commenting. Didn't see anything in the other dictionaries I checked either. Dictionary.com might be in error here. – Bradd Szonye Oct 31 '13 at 8:51

You can use roommate, housemate, flatmate and similar terms to indicate that two unrelated people live together. None of these words imply any particular relationship (unlike cohabitation, which suggests that they have a sexual relationship or partnership).

Wikipedia notes a usage difference between American and UK English:

In the UK, the term “roommate” means a person living in the same bedroom, whereas in the United States and Canada, “roommate” and “housemate” are used interchangeably regardless whether a bedroom is shared. This article uses the term “roommate” in the US sense of a person one shares a residence with who is not a relative or significant other.

Thus, you can use housemate anywhere to indicate that two people simply live in the same house. In American English, you can also call them roommates.

  • What about "cotenant"? – Pacerier Oct 31 '13 at 7:25
  • I've never heard cotenant used in conversation. It might be OK for formal writing but otherwise it would sound stilted to me. Roommate or housemate is far more common, probably even in formal writing. – Bradd Szonye Oct 31 '13 at 8:54

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