Also found in: Acronyms.
(Arabic, gift). (1) Land ownership in feudal India that was completely or partially freed from taxes. In the sultanate of Delhi, the term inam was often used to designate a grant in the broad sense (money, clothes, positions, and privileges). In India under the Moguls, the term was used for the small plots of land that belonged to priestly attendants or to temples (mainly Muslim); in southern India, the term also referred to the plots of land of the leaders of a community and the artisans. In the Maratha principalities of India, the privileged lands of the feudal lords, which were their own private property, were called inams. Most of the inams in India were liquidated in the 1820’s.
(2) In medieval Iran, a “gift” to influential people (grain, cloth, clothes, or money).