an institution for the housing and care of orphans.
the state of being an orphan; orphanhood.
Archaic. orphans collectively.

Origin of orphanage

First recorded in 1530–40; orphan + -age
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for orphanage

Contemporary Examples of orphanage

Historical Examples of orphanage

  • After dinner she went off to Westminster in search of the orphanage.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • But I stopped long enough at the orphanage to ask about the poor baby.


    Jane Abbott

  • The next time she came to the hospital, Kate had much to ask her about the Orphanage.


    Florence A. Sitwell

  • That home of affluence was not mine,—it was only the asylum of my first days of orphanage.

    Ernest Linwood

    Caroline Lee Hentz

  • For several years they had supported a little girl at an orphanage.

British Dictionary definitions for orphanage



an institution for orphans and abandoned children
the state of being an orphan
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 orphanage

1570s, "condition of being an orphan," from orphan (n.) + -age. Meaning "home for orphans" is from 1865 (earlier was orphan house, 1711).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper