asylum

[ uh-sahy-luhm ]
/ əˈsaɪ ləm /

noun

(especially formerly) an institution for the maintenance and care of the mentally ill, orphans, or other persons requiring specialized assistance.
an inviolable refuge, as formerly for criminals and debtors; sanctuary: He sought asylum in the church.
International Law.
  1. a refuge granted an alien by a sovereign state on its own territory.
  2. a temporary refuge granted political offenders, especially in a foreign embassy.
any secure retreat.

Origin of asylum

1400–50; late Middle English; < Latin < Greek ásȳlon sanctuary, equivalent to a- a-6 + sŷlon right of seizure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for asylum

British Dictionary definitions for asylum

asylum

/ (əˈsaɪləm) /

noun

a safe or inviolable place of refuge, esp as formerly offered by the Christian Church to criminals, outlaws, etc; sanctuary (often in the phrase give asylum to)
shelter; refuge
international law refuge afforded to a person whose extradition is sought by a foreign governmentpolitical asylum
obsolete an institution for the shelter, treatment, or confinement of individuals, esp a mental hospital (formerly termed lunatic asylum)

Word Origin for asylum

C15: via Latin from Greek asulon refuge, from asulos that may not be seized, from a- 1 + sulon right of seizure
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

Medicine definitions for asylum

asylum

[ ə-sīləm ]

n.

An institution for the care of people, especially individuals with physical or mental impairments, who require organized supervision or assistance.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.