noun, plural in·fir·ma·ries.

a place for the care of the infirm, sick, or injured; hospital or facility serving as a hospital: a school infirmary.
a dispensary.

Origin of infirmary

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English word from Medieval Latin word infirmāria. See infirm, -ary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for infirmary

dispensary, hospital, sickroom

Examples from the Web for infirmary

Contemporary Examples of infirmary

Historical Examples of infirmary

  • The infirmary seems to have been the most cheerful place in the monastery.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • I got out of the vehicle with the infirmary attendant and his assistant.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • He was taken into the infirmary, and when there he had confessed everything.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • She was so delicate, so frequently ill, that she was employed in the infirmary.

  • Ferguson went to the infirmary and Grayson went to the Commandant's office.

    The Adventurer

    Cyril M. Kornbluth

British Dictionary definitions for infirmary


noun plural -ries

a place for the treatment of the sick or injured; dispensary; hospital
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

Word Origin and History for infirmary

mid-15c., "sick bay in a monastery," from Medieval Latin infirmaria "a place for the infirm," from Latin infirmus "weak, frail," (see infirm). The common name for a public hospital in 18c. England.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

infirmary in Medicine




A place for the care of the infirm, sick, or injured, especially a small hospital or clinic in an institution or school.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.