Can I use my iMac 2009 as an external monitor for a MacBook Pro

I will soon be getting a new MacBook Pro with Retina display. It has an HDMI port.
My current iMac 21.5" late 2009 model seems to have a port with what looks like a little monitor symbol, next to the firewire port. And the specs say:
Graphics and video support
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory3
ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR3 memory
Built-in iSight camera
Mini DisplayPort output port with support for DVI, VGA, and dual-link DVI (adapters sold separately).
Support for extended desktop and video mirroring modes
Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to a 30-inch display (2560 by 1600 pixels) on an external display
Does this mean that port is just for video output to an external monitor? Or is is possible to also do video in?
On the one hand it feels like a waste to use a perfectly good iMac as a monitor. But the MacBook Pro actually has better specs, and so I was wondering if it is possible anyway.
Thanks,
doug

Thanks for your reply. After reading the article though, I'm still not really sure what the answer is. For example, you mention something that can be done, with some hurdles to go through, for 27" iMacs. Mine is a 21.5" iMac, but seems to have the same port you mentioned in the article. Or maybe it isn't. Anyway, I'm still not sure if it is possible after reading that. Interesting information though.
doug

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