noun, plural laz·a·ret·tos.

a hospital for those affected with contagious diseases, especially leprosy.
a building or a ship set apart for quarantine purposes.
Also called glory hole. Nautical. a small storeroom within the hull of a ship, especially one at the extreme stern.

Also laz·a·ret, laz·a·rette [laz-uh-ret] /ˌlæz əˈrɛt/.

Origin of lazaretto

1540–50; < Upper Italian (Venetian) lazareto, blend of lazzaro lazar and Nazareto popular name of a hospital maintained in Venice by the Church of Santa Maria di Nazaret Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lazarette

Historical Examples of lazarette

  • The deck being blown up, it had fallen down into the lazarette of course.


    Joseph Conrad

  • I caught him aft from the galley on a trip to the lazarette for provisions.

  • “Must have taken the lazarette ladder with him,” said Mr. Pike.

  • And he rose from table and disappeared with a lamp in the lazarette.

    The Ebb-Tide

    Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyde Osbourne

  • Haven't I spent a half hour in the lazarette looking and listening for just such sounds as you describe?

    The Flying Bo'sun

    Arthur Mason

British Dictionary definitions for lazarette


lazaret or lazarette (ˌlæzəˈrɛt)

noun plural -rettos, -rets or -rettes

Also called: glory hole nautical a small locker at the stern of a boat or a storeroom between decks of a ship
Also called: lazar house, pesthouse (formerly) a hospital for persons with infectious diseases, esp leprosy

Word Origin for lazaretto

C16: Italian, from lazzaro lazar
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 lazarette



"house for reception of lepers and diseased poor persons," 1540s, from Italian lazareto "place set aside for performance of quarantine" (especially that of Venice, which received many ships from plague-infested districts in the East), from the Biblical proper name Lazarus. Meaning "building set apart for quarantine" is c.1600 in English. The word in Italian was perhaps influenced by the name of another hospital in Venice, that associated with the church of Santa Maria di Nazaret.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper