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[hos-pi-tl] /ˈhɒs pɪ tl/
an institution in which sick or injured persons are given medical or surgical treatment.
a similar establishment for the care of animals.
a repair shop for specific portable objects:
violin hospital; doll hospital.
British. an institution supported by charity or taxes for the care of the needy, as an orphanage or old people's home.
Origin of hospital
1250-1300; Middle English hospitale < Medieval Latin, noun use of neuter of Latin hospitālis hospitable, equivalent to hospit- (see hospitium) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
minihospital, noun
multihospital, adjective
posthospital, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hospital
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They looked from the windows of the hospital, and from the roofs of houses.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • If only the house was her own, that she might turn it into a hospital!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • She could not bring herself at first to tell him about the hospital.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Closer to her than the hospital was life in the raw that night.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • He had seen her before in the hospital, but he had never really noticed how attractive she was.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
British Dictionary definitions for hospital


an institution for the medical, surgical, obstetric, or psychiatric care and treatment of patients
(modifier) having the function of a hospital: a hospital ship
a repair shop for something specified: a dolls' hospital
(archaic) a charitable home, hospice, or school
Word Origin
C13: from Medieval Latin hospitāle hospice, from Latin hospitālis relating to a guest, from hospes, hospit- guest, host1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hospital

mid-13c., "shelter for the needy," from Old French hospital, ospital "hostel" (Modern French hôpital), from Late Latin hospitale "guest-house, inn," neuter of Latin adjective hospitalis "of a guest or host," from hospes (genitive hospitis); see host (n.1). Later "charitable institution to house and maintain the needy" (early 15c.); sense of "institution for sick people" is first recorded 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hospital in Medicine

hospital hos·pi·tal (hŏs'pĭ-tl, -pĭt'l)
An institution that provides medical, surgical, or psychiatric care and treatment for the sick or the injured.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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